TAMPA — While many aspects of life are getting back to normal, doctors say the latest COVID variant, known as delta, could be especially dangerous for those who are not vaccinated.
“I really think it’s a really good idea if you had any doubts or hesitation about getting vaccinated, it’s time to do it now," said USF professor, Dr. Thomas Unnasch.
Unnasch said the delta variant is 60% more contagious than the UK variant. Put another way, the contagiousness is on a level comparable to smallpox or whooping cough. He said a booster might be needed in the coming months, especially for those who had the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
“We will probably be batting back and forth playing whack-a-mole with this thing for a couple of years. But I think the worst of this is over especially in the United States," said Unnasch.
Experts said the Delta variant will soon make up all of the COVID cases in Europe, and it could eventually cause another wave of COVID-19 of coronavirus in the US. But, in the U.S. the vaccines work against the variants if everyone will get them.
“We’ve got three really effective vaccines, but none of the vaccines are 100%. So there are small fractions of people that will get infected, will get sick after exposure to the virus," said USF Health virologist Dr. Michael Teng. "And given that the delta variant is more transmissible, it’s more likely you’ll get infected even if you’ve been vaccinated; so be careful."
As of Wednesday, just 44% of Floridians are fully vaccinated. Florida is one of 34 states that hasn't vaccinated at least half its population.