Vaccinated people with no COVID symptoms may be key spreaders of the Delta variant

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Credit: SHRM
Credit: SHRM

Strangers are standing shoulder to shoulder in bars, fans are singing at packed indoor concerts, and travelers are flying in numbers not seen since before lockdowns began in 2020.

“While the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this: It no longer controls our lives,” President Biden said on July 4th, as hospitalizations, cases, and deaths trended down. “America is coming back together.”

Yet, a quiet new wave of severe COVID-19 infections is brewing, fueled by the more transmissible Delta variant.

“We actually have states where hospitalizations are going up more than cases,” Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told Insider. 

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[W]hile there’s no evidence Delta is more deadly, it is more infectious, and “because of that extra stickiness, it’s going to still keep breaking through the vaccine group,” [said epidemiologist Tim Spector.]

More than half of Scotland is fully vaccinated, and 71% of Scots have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Yet the country is suffering its worst wave of infections yet.

“You cannot explain the explosive epidemic in Scotland, in a pretty highly vaccinated population, if they’re not playing a role in transmission,” Murray said of the vaccinated.

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