The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), estimated on Wednesday that the Delta variant of the coronavirus, particularly contagious, should account for 90% of new cases of Covid-19 in the European Union (EU) by the end of August, calling for vigilance.
“It is very likely that the Delta variant will circulate widely during the summer, especially among young people who are not targeted for vaccination,” said European Disease Agency Director Andrea Ammon.
While the Alpha variant first detected in the United Kingdom currently remains predominant in the region, the agency’s modeling predicts that the Delta variant, first detected in India, will account for 70% of new infections in the EU by early August and 90% by the end of August, ECDC announced in a note.
To counter the emergence of the variant, which is 40 to 60% more transmissible than Alpha, according to the health agency, the ECDC calls for accelerated vaccinations.
Both laboratory and real-life studies agree on one point: receiving a single dose of vaccine provides limited protection against the Delta variant.
“At this point, it becomes critical that the second dose of vaccine be administered within the minimum allowable interval after the first dose to accelerate the rate at which vulnerable individuals are protected,” Andrea Ammon added.
According to the agency’s scenarios, “any relaxation over the summer of the non-pharmaceutical measures that were in place in the EU/EEA at the beginning of June could lead to a rapid and significant increase in the number of daily cases in all age groups.”