Delta variant ‘more transmissible and dangerous’, says Vivek Murthy

Vivek Murthy

Indian American Surgeon General worried about unvaccinated people.

With the Delta variant of Covid-19 first found in India now sweeping 85 nations, Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy has warned that it is significantly more transmissible and more dangerous.

“I’m quite worried about the Delta variant. It is more transmissible, significantly more transmissible. It also may be more dangerous in terms of the severity of illness that it causes,” he told MSNBC Wednesday.

“We have seen how quickly it has taken over in the United Kingdom, where it’s become – getting close to 100 percent of new Covid cases, Delta. And we have seen a surge here too.  So, I am worried,”

The top Indian American health official charged with leading Biden-Harris administration’s fight against coronavirus, said that he is worried about those people who have not been vaccinated so far.

“I’m worried about those who are not vaccinated, because what we have found is, based on the studies coming out of the UK, that if you are vaccinated, you are actually quite well-protected particularly against hospitalizations and deaths,” Murthy said.

“The worry is if you’re not vaccinated, that you’re at even greater risk than you were before. So, what I don’t want to see is a growing divide in our country between the unvaccinated and vaccinated,” he said in response to a question.

“We’ve got to close that gap. That’s why we’re working so hard to get people vaccinated everywhere.”

So far, 65.4 percent of Americans have received at least one dose, 55.9 percent are fully vaccinated. The vaccination rate for age 12 and older is at 62.5 percent, and over 18 years is at 65.4 percent.

“Your level of risk, your kid’s level of risk really depends on where you live and how high the community vaccination rates are,”  Dr Murthy said.

“And this is why we always say – and I say this as a dad who’s got two young kids, three and four, whose – we don’t have a vaccine available for kids that young. So, I’m worried about my kids, just like any other parents are.”

“This is why we say the vaccination effort is more about what you’re doing for yourself,” he said.

“It’s about the step you’re taking to help protect those around you from getting infected because even if you don’t get seriously ill, you can transmit the virus to others who are more vulnerable,” Dr Murthy said.

Murthy’s warning came as the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Delta variant has been detected in 85 countries so far and is continuing to be found in more countries.

“Delta, now reported in 85 countries globally, continues to be reported in new countries across all WHO Regions, 11 of which were newly reported in the past two weeks,” WHO said in its latest weekly update.

This variant is more transmissible than Alpha variant and can become a dominant lineage if current trends continue, it warned.

READ: Vivek Murthy back as ‘America’s Doctor’ (March 26, 2021)

As ‘America’s doctor,’ Vivek Murthy vows a war on Covid-19 (February 26, 2021)

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