The COVID-19 Delta variant in Arizona is spreading rapidly. If we want to avoid the return of increased restrictions, it’s important that everyone does their part and gets vaccinated. This guide will help you educate yourself on the numbers, symptoms and prevention methods so we can keep our state healthy and reduce the spread of this virus.
- The COVID-19 Delta variant is now the dominant virus strain, both in Arizona and nationwide.
- Over the past three weeks, it has risen in proportion from 50% to more than 80% of new cases.
- On Monday, July 19, Arizona ranked sixth highest among all states for its weekly increase, behind Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Nevada.
- In Arizona, the new strain of the virus is most prevalent in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties.
Contagiousness and Symptoms
The COVID-19 Delta variant is 50% more contagious than the Alpha strain, which was 50% more contagious than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. For vaccinated adults, the symptoms are similar to a cold or the flu. For those who are unvaccinated, hospitalization is twice as likely.
You can expect the following symptoms, but the severity will vary based on your vaccination status:
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
It’s also important to note that with the Delta variant, loss of taste and smell is unlikely, while congestion and headache are more common. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, get tested immediately.
Vaccinations By the Numbers
- Nearly 46% of Arizonans were fully vaccinated as of Monday, August 9.
- About 54% of the Arizona population has received at least one dose.
- This is below the national figure, as 50.8% of all Americans have been fully vaccinated and about 60% have received at least one dose.
- More than 95% of Arizona’s COVID-19 cases in May and 92% of cases in June were from unvaccinated individuals, according to the state health department.
Why It’s Worth the Shot
If you want to protect yourself and others from potential hospitalization or death, as well as continue our return to normalcy, you must get vaccinated. It’s a safe, effective and simple way to avoid a third wave of COVID-19.
This particular strain is what many health professionals are calling “the pandemic for the unvaccinated.” More than 99% of hospitalized patients nationwide have not received the vaccine, according to the CDC. This is why it’s tremendously crucial for you to get your shots.
All three immunizations have been proven to prevent your risk of contracting the COVID-19 Delta variant,
but what is the efficacy of each? Experts are still conducting studies, but here’s what we know so far:
Pfizer-BioNTech: Anywhere from 64% to 96% effective against the Delta variant with two doses, as study results vary. The vaccine also reduces severity of symptoms significantly if COVID-19 is contracted.
Moderna: One study estimates 72% effectiveness from one dose and even further protection with two. Other studies suggest it may offer similar protection as the Pfizer vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson: More studies are needed to reach a conclusion. This vaccine may not be as effective as the others against the Delta variant, but still provides adequate protection against severe illness and hospitalization.
Basic Prevention Methods
Although in many ways it seems Arizona has returned to normal, COVID-19 is not over. The same rules still apply as the first time around, so be sure to follow these practices regularly:
- Wear a mask in public, especially if you aren’t vaccinated yet
- Wash your hands
- Stay six feet apart when possible
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect surfaces often
- Monitor your health daily
- Get vaccinated now
If we all work together, we can prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Arizona and continue enjoying the events, people and places we love most.