The super-contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 infected everyone who attended a recent party in Sydney, Australia – except for the six people who were vaccinated.
Health authorities in New South Wales recently revealed that 24 out of 30 guests recently tested positive for the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 after attending a birthday party in West Hoxton, a suburb of Sydney. The six who managed to avoid the infection were all healthcare workers who had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Speaking at a press conference on June 28, New South Wales health authorities explained that this “super spread event” clearly highlights the importance of vaccinations.
"To emphasize just how important vaccinations are… not one of those 24 people were vaccinated," Brad Hazzard, New South Wales Minister for Health and Medical Research, told reporters on Monday evening.
"I can also advise that six health workers who attended the party, who were fully vaccinated, not one of those people has been infected," he added.
"The short message is: get vaccinated.”
The Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2, was first identified in India but is fast becoming the most prolific variant across the whole world. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global Variants Report, the Delta variant has been reported in 96 countries. It’s already the most dominant strain in the UK, India, and Russia, and it looks like the US is bolting down the same path.
Australia was previously coping relatively well with the latest wave of COVID-19 cases seen worldwide until the Delta variant arrived on their shores. Now, over 20 million people in Australia, around 80 percent of the population, are living under tough social distancing measures – the highest number since a national lockdown at the start of the pandemic.
The Delta variant is more infectious, more aggressive, and more deadly. The variant also dampens the efficacy of vaccines, although the COVID-19 vaccinations are still highly effective at preventing hospitalization from variant infection, as this recent case in Sydney shows.
Given the extra edge of the Delta Variant, the World Health Organization has recently urged even fully vaccinated people to continue wearing masks and taking other precautions. Conversely, and controversially, the CDC, told fully vaccinated people in the US that they no longer needed to wear masks indoors nor stick to social distancing guidelines with other vaccinated people.
There could be more to come, however. Virologists in India recently raised the alarm on a new version of the Delta variant – known as the Delta Plus – that could further enhance the transmissibility of the virus.