Scientist: Delta strain needs new and different decisions from politicians
Researcher of molecular immunology at the University of Tartu Uku Haljasorg says that politicians are basing their decisions in the coronavirus situation from data from previous strains, but in the case of the delta strain, a different approach is required. He also recommends asking the opinion of the scientific community more.
"I think it's not right that the current policies are based on the previous virus strains' data, where vaccines were completely effective. Currently, I'm not saying that we should check everything, but alterations should be made," Haljasorg said.
He added that the delta strain needs a different approach. "Not to sit back with promises made in April, May. We need to move on, but I have a feeling that on the political side, that hasn't been much. They are forgetting we have a new situation."
To do anything differently, Haljasoru, said that politicians should look to social scientists. "So far we have given recommendations as number scientists or talked to number politicians. But the background is completely different, broader, wihle society is much bigger than an Excel chart."
As to whether vaccinated and unvaccinated people should be treated differently, Haljasorg said that he couldn't envisage the bigger picture in that way.
Haljasorg says he considers achieving 80 percent vaccination complicated. "In the case of the delta strain, it is thought that the infection rate is much higher than in the case of the preliminary strain. Vaccination coverage has to be 90 percent, with regard to the delta variant, it is argued," Haljasorg said.
He added that vaccinated people get infected less than unvaccinated people. "The protection of the vaccine is quite effective, even in the case of the delta strain," he said.
"Currently, politicians are basing their decisions on the fact that there's a chance that vaccinated people can also infect others, so vaccinated people should wear masks, keep the distance. But we don't have results on that yet."
The latest data shows that when a vaccinated person is infected, the vaccinated person gets better in about six days and an unvaccinated person in nine days. There's a theoretical possibility that a vaccinated person spreads the virus, but it's not known whether the virus is as aggressive. This is being studied at the moment, Haljasorg said.
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Editor: Roberta Vaino