China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said Chinese vaccines were effective against the delta variant first discovered in India, and urged more people to get vaccinated.
“More people should be vaccinated to establish collective immunity”, Zhong believes. The resurgence of the epidemic in Guangzhou, capital of southern China’s Guangdong province, marked the first time China had to deal with the spread of the delta variant in communities, the epidemiologist said. The variant has a shorter incubation period, and infected people take longer to recover.
A total of 153 cases were reported in Guangzhou as of May, but no new local cases were reported between June 19 and 24. As of Thursday, more than 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine had been administered on the Chinese mainland.
The delta variant, also known as the B.1.617.2 line, is a variant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first detected in India late last year and carries a mutation in the gene that codes for the spike protein that the virus uses to enter the body’s cells.
According to Public Health England (PHE), this gave the delta version 50-60% higher transmission efficiency than the alpha version of the virus. It appears that the delta variant allows an increased amount of virus in infected people to expel more to infect other people.
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