Coronavirus levels in people with the Delta variant are similar regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated and it “may have implications for people’s infectiousness”, early analysis suggests.
Public Health England’s (PHE) latest variant technical briefing said according to initial findings, “levels of virus in those who become infected with Delta having already been vaccinated may be similar to levels found in unvaccinated people”.
It added: “This may have implications for people’s infectiousness, whether they have been vaccinated or not.
“However, this is early exploratory analysis and further targeted studies are needed to confirm whether this is the case.”
The Delta variant, which originated in India, remains the dominant type in the UK, said PHE, accounting for approximately 99% of cases.
Hospitalisation data also show that vaccines, while providing high levels of protection, are not 100% effective.
It said of recent admissions for the virus, 808 (55.1%) were unvaccinated, while 512 (34.9%) had received both doses of a vaccine.
“We must also remember that the vaccines do not eliminate all risk: it is still possible to become unwell with COVID and infect others,” said Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency.
“It is still vital that we exercise caution, particularly while cases are high.”