Yale doctor weighs in on unknowns of lasting COVID immunity and how Delta variant could impact fall scenario

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The United States watched how the alpha or UK COVID-19 variant became the dominant strain. Predictions are now that the Delta variant will quickly become dominant.

“You’re twice as likely to get hospitalized from COVID from the delta variant than the variant we’ve had circulating in the past,” says Yale Medicine infectious disease physician Manisha Juthani. She says the best defense is to get vaccinated.

“We can look forward to a good summer in Connecticut. People have done the hard work they’ve done what they needed to do to get us where we are.”

Her outlook for the fall here?

“We will have more virus circulating and it will be with us. What we will find with time is do our vaccines still work? Are they still effective?”

The big unknown is how long will COVID vaccination immunity last?

“My personal opinion is that our first signal that the vaccine might not be working or that immunity is waning is going to be in nursing homes. These are our most vulnerable and oldest patients.”

Dr. Juthani says the good news with that current vaccines can be modified to immunize large portions of our society just like scientists do with the flu every year. Dr. Juthani sees the COVID-19 virus sticking around much like the flu.

“We’re doing our best to get rid of it as much as possible but with the amount of catchiness that these variants and this virus have, I think it’s expected that it will be around.”

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