If You Did This After Your First Shot, You're at Risk for the Delta Variant

A report says that doing this will leave you with "barely" any protection from the new strain.

We have highly effective COVID-19 vaccines to thank for bringing infections down to their lowest levels since the pandemic began. Now, the highly contagious Delta variant is posing a new threat as it spreads as the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S., leading health officials to urge those who are unvaccinated to get their shots as soon a possible. But a new study is warning that if you did this one thing after getting your first shot of the COVID vaccine, you could be at serious risk for catching the Delta variant. Read on to see what the latest research has found.

RELATED: If You Got This Vaccine, You May Have Low Antibodies Against the India Variant.

According to a peer-reviewed report published on July 8 in the journal Nature, the Delta variant can evade some of the antibodies produced by either a vaccine injection or natural infection with the novel coronavirus. However, those who received only one shot of a two-dose vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer, are offered "barely" any protection from the variant, The Washington Post reports.

Fortunately, the report also found that fully vaccinated individuals who have received both shots are at a relatively low risk of catching the new strain. The findings support another study published on July 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine that found "protective immunity conferred by the mRNA vaccines is most likely retained against the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 [Delta] variants."

RELATED: If You Take These Meds, You May Not Have Antibodies Post-Vaccine, Study Says.

Health experts say the results prove that not only is vaccination crucial to stopping the spread of the new variant, but that full vaccination is necessary to prevent infection from the now dominant strain. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of July 7, 64.4 percent of the eligible population in the U.S.—or 182,673,355 people above the age of 12—has received one dose, while only 55.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

"[The study] really verifies the need for the full two-dose vaccine regimen to get full effectiveness of the vaccine against the delta," Monica Gandhi, MD, an infectious-diseases doctor at the University of California at San Francisco who was not involved in the studies told The Post.

Other recent research has helped shed light on how effective current vaccines are against the Delta variant. Israel's Health Ministry released one such study on July 5, which used data collected during an outbreak caused by the strain between June 6 and early July to determine that the Pfizer vaccine's efficacy dropped from 94 percent down to 64 percent effective against COVID infection from the variant, The Wall Street Journal reports. However, it also found that the Pfizer vaccine was still 94 percent effective at preventing severe illness during the variant-driven outbreak, only down from 97 percent established in previous studies.

As some areas of the U.S. have lagged in vaccinations, some top officials are continuing to urge the public to get make sure they get their shots to help stave off future outbreaks of the virus. "Please, get vaccinated," Anthony Fauci, MD, chief White House COVID adviser, said during a press briefing on July 8. "It will protect you against the surging of the Delta variant."

RELATED: If You Got This One Vaccine, Get a Booster Now, Virus Expert Warns.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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