Delta variant to represent 90% of infections in EU by September, says EU disease agency

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The European centre for disease control her warned that by the end of August the Delta strain will represent 90% of all SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating in the EU, and that it is vital for people, including the young, to get fully vaccinated as the summer holiday season begins.

“It is very likely that the Delta variant will circulate extensively during the summer, particularly among younger individuals that are not targeted for vaccination,” Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said in a statement.

“The Delta variant is more transmissible than other circulating variants and we estimate that by the end of August it will represent 90 percent” of new cases in the EU, she added. The ECDC estimates that the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), is 40 to 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first discovered in the UK, which is currently the predominant variant of the novel coronavirus circulating in the EU. The agency said that “70 percent of new SARS-CoV-2 infections are projected to be due to this variant in the EU/EEA by early August and 90 percent of infections by the end of August”.

To counter the spread of the variant and mitigate the health impact, the ECDC said “it is very important to progress with the vaccine roll-out at a very high pace”.

Photo: People gather for aperitif time and dinner in Venice, northern Italy. EPA-EFE/ANDREA MEROLA

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