WHO Says COVID-19 ‘Delta’ Becoming the Globally Dominant Variant

WHO Says COVID-19 ‘Delta’ Becoming the Globally Dominant Variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the ‘Delta’ variant of COVID-19 is now turning into the dominant variant across the globe. WHO Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan shared the news on Friday. 

“The Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissibility,” Swaminathan said. 

The UK is currently witnessing a considerable rise in the number of cases bearing the Delta mutation. Meanwhile, German public health officials have cautioned that this could be the dominant variant in the region over the coming days and weeks. 

Russia, on the other hand, has vaccine hesitance and the “nihilism” for the rising infections in its largest city, Moscow. The Delta variant makes up for a bulk of the new cases in the region as well.

In what came as a bit of a shock for health experts across the world, German pharmaceutical company CureVac revealed that its vaccine candidate was only 47 per cent effective in preventing disease, shy of the WHO’s 50 per cent threshold. CureVac further said that it detected at least 13 variants that were circulating within the population picked for the study. 

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Hopes were high from CureVac’s candidate as mRNA vaccines from the likes of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have proven to be efficacious against the new variants. However, Swaminathan dismissed the notion by saying, “Just because it's another mRNA vaccine, we cannot presume all mRNA vaccines are the same, because each one has a slightly different technology.”

Officials from the WHO also said that Africa is an area of concern with the continent believed to be going through a deadly third wave. Regions like Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda have seen a doubling of new cases over the last week. Compounding the issue is the fact that access to vaccines remains very limited.  

Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme said, “The brutal reality is that in an era of multiple variants, with increased transmissibility, we have left vast swathes of the population, the vulnerable population of Africa, unprotected by vaccines.”

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