The European Health Agency warned on Wednesday that the DELTA variant of the coronavirus, first discovered in India, will spread in Europe during the summer.
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) announced that the delta variant (B.1.617.2) is 40% to 60% more infectious than the alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of the virus.
The Stockholm-based European agency expects that by early August, 70% of new coronavirus cases in the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will be related to the Delta.
According to Reuters, by the end of August, this proportion will reach 90%.
ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said: “Variants of delta are likely to spread in the summer, especially among young people who are not designated for vaccination.”
She added in a statement: “This may pose a risk to vulnerable individuals who may become infected and experience severe illness and death if they are not fully vaccinated.”
Scientists at the University of Oxford analyzed the frequency of reinfection with this mutation in people who overcome covid-19, and the results were published last week.
Individuals infected with β and γ variants originating in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, have a particularly high incidence.
However, according to Reuters, Oxford University research also shows that Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are effective against delta variants and provide up to 90% hospital protection.