5 Things to Know About the Delta Variant
Asha K. Shah, MD, MS, Director of Infectious Diseases
COVID-19 is far from over. Here are 5 things you should know right now.
1. Does the COVID-19 vaccine protect against the Delta variant?
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine prevents severe illness and death. We have had an average of 10 patients at Stamford Hospital over the past few weeks, and the vast majority are unvaccinated.
2. What's the best thing I can do to protect myself against the Delta variant?
Get vaccinated. Doing so will protect yourself and those around you, especially those who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
It’s also important to continue practicing infection prevention measures like masking up, washing your hands and watching your distance.
3. What exactly is the booster shot and when should I get it?
The point of the booster shot is to prolong the duration of your immune response to the COVID-19 virus, offering more protection. You can get the shot 6 months after your second dose of Pfizer and you must meet one of the following criteria:
- 65 and older
- Reside in a long-term care setting
- 18 to 64, with certain conditions that put you at high risk of severe COVID-19
- 18 to 64, and are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to your occupation
Yes, this is different than the “3rd dose” which is being offered to select immunocompromised patients right now who may not have had an adequate immune response to the first series of vaccine.
4. Can I get the Delta variant if I've had COVID before?
Yes. It's possible to get COVID-19 more than once. That's why you still need to be vaccinated.
5. So what does it mean now that the FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19?
If you are hesitant and need further reassurance, this is it. Get vaccinated, and strongly consider the booster shot if you're eligible.
Protection will always be your best defense. Get the shot for yourself and for your loved ones.