Commentary: Science shows vaccines thwart delta variant

After jumping the gun so many times last year, you'd think the alarmists and "experts" would take a breath.

Stock photo/Unsplash

Despite hysteria from the usual entities, there is little reason to panic over the delta variant. After jumping the gun so many times last year, you’d think the alarmists and “experts” would take a breath and let the science evolve. Nope.

“Scientists have good reasons to sound the alarm over it,” New York Magazine warned its insular readers.

“As the new strain spreads, experts are taking it seriously,” explained Yale’s Kathy Katella.

In a misleading treatise at NBC News — where she began by approvingly quoting the WHO — a Brown University professor warned, “But stopping a discussion of the delta variant with a paean to the magic of vaccines misses the bigger picture. Even as we focus on the short-term dangers caused by variants, we need to be thinking about the longer-term health dangers.”

CBS News called delta “highly contagious” and reported Pfizer is looking at administering a third shot, but even BuzzFeed explained Saturday that this is likely unnecessary.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has urged vaccinated Americans to mask in areas of high transmission.

Los Angeles County, which has handled the pandemic poorly, recommends everyone wear masks indoors in public — regardless of vaccination status.

However, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky believes vaccinated people need not wear masks, since the vaccines are effective against all variants, including delta. Nearly all deaths and serious illnesses from delta are among the unvaccinated.

U.S. cases are mainly rising in states with below-average vaccine rates, which have triple the number of new cases compared to above-average vaccinated states.

A New England Journal of Medicine study, focusing on front-line health workers, confirmed reports that two doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were over 90 percent effective in preventing infection; a single jab was 81 percent effective. Even the New York Times confirmed vaccines combat delta.

“As with earlier variants, vaccinated people infected by delta will likely suffer mild cases and pose minimal risk to others,” Dr. Joel Zinberg recently wrote. “Delta poses the greatest risk to those who remain unvaccinated. But these cases will likely be concentrated among younger people who are far less likely to get severely ill or die.”

Even England is finally relenting on lockdowns.

“If we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and the school holidays, we must ask ourselves: when will we be able to reopen?” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a press briefing last week.

That makes sense. This is a crowded island, smaller than Minnesota, with ten times the population, where daily deaths average under 20, versus more than 1,000 in January.

In recent weeks, Minnesota has seen daily cases and deaths dwindle to roughly 100 and fewer than five, respectively.

Almost 60 percent of Americans over 18  are fully vaccinated, and over two-thirds have received at least one dose. In the vulnerable 65 and older population, about 80% have been fully vaccinated, while nine in 10 have received at least one dose.

Though unlike insensitive tools such as Vanderbilt University’s Dr. William Schaffner, I understand people have reasons for their doubts; it’s still a good idea to get vaccinated. However, when the principal health advisor to the president makes asinine comments like these, it also hurts the vaccine effort.

To steal some hyperbole from the left, folks like Xavier Becerra, Kathleen Sebelius and Bret Weinstein could be as dangerous as the variants themselves.