Delta variant ‘may be 46% more likely to cause reinfection’

Delta Variant ‘May Be 46% More Likely To Cause Reinfection’ Delta Variant ‘May Be 46% More Likely To Cause Reinfection’
The Delta variant for a majority of cases in Ireland and Britain. Photo: PA
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By Jane Kirby and Joe Gammie, PA

The Delta variant of coronavirus may be 46 per cent more likely to cause reinfection than the previosuly dominant Alpha variant, new figures from England suggest.

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that, while the overall chances of getting reinfected are very low, the Delta variant, first identified in India and which accounts for a majority of cases in Ireland and Britain, poses a higher risk.

It came as new figures showed the breakdown of how many people in hospital in England with the Delta variant have had one or both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

From June 21st to July 19th, some 1,788 people were admitted to English hospitals after testing positive for Delta.

Of these, 970 (54 per cent) were unvaccinated, while 530 (30 per cent) had received both doses.


On the topic of reinfections, PHE experts looked at the PCR test results for a group of people who had already had a positive Covid test at least 90 days earlier.


There were 83,197 people who tested positive in the 11-week period of the analysis, of whom 980 (1.2 per cent) had possible reinfections.

Overall, the team found that the chance of reinfection with the Delta variant was 46 per cent higher compared to the Alpha variant.

PHE said that further work is now being undertaken to examine the risk of reinfection.

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Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “This most recent hospitalisation data shows once again just how crucial vaccination is in protecting us from severe illness and death.

“Two doses of vaccine are far more effective against Covid-19 than a single dose, so please make sure that you come forward to get your second dose as soon as you are invited.

“As we emerge from restrictions and vaccine coverage continues to rise, it is important to remember that, while the protection provided by vaccination is excellent, it is not total.”

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