How The Delta Variant Can Still Affect You If You're Vaccinated

Due to the delta variant, cases and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have been spiking in many parts of the United States for the first time in months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is easy for vaccinated people to assume that this will not affect them, but this is not necessarily the case.

Of course, there is the fact that some vaccinated people will experience breakthrough COVID-19 cases; fortunately, this is rare, and hospitalization and death among vaccinated people is even rarer. Indeed, fully vaccinated people comprised 1.1% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in May, and only 0.8% of deaths (per AP News). Most breakthrough COVID-19 cases tend to be relatively mild, according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, recent spikes in COVID-19 can still impact the health of vaccinated people in other ways. First off, public health officials fear that the delta variant might mutate into something that may eventually evade the vaccines. Fortunately, this has not yet happened (per Business Insider).

COVID-19 surges may disrupt the health care system

As of this writing, the biggest threat to the physical health of fully vaccinated people is that a resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations may overwhelm the health care system. According to Dr. Rishi K. Wadhera of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, COVID-19 spikes throughout the pandemic have interfered with checkups, outpatient care, and prescription services (via Healthline).

Because of limited resources, anything that is not considered urgent has had to be put on the backburner. Over 9 million cancer screenings were missed during 2020 (per JAMA Oncology), which is especially concerning because early detection can spell the difference between life or death for many cancer patients (via World Health Organization). Some areas in the country are already feeling the effects of delta-related hospital surges, according to NBC News.

The last thing we need is another resurgence in COVID-19 cases that interferes with the health care of the general population, especially since vaccines are now available to prevent this from happening. This is one of many reasons why encouraging vaccination is so important, according to Healthline.