All COVID-19 vaccines reduce severity of infection – Prof. Malavige
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
All existing coronavirus vaccines are able to reduce severity of disease and prevent death of COVID-19 patients however severe the variant is, Professor at the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Sri Jayewardenepura University (SJU) Prof. Neelika Malavige said. Addressing the media at the Health Promotion Bureau on Friday (18), Prof. Malavige added any person should not hesitate to get themselves vaccinated against the virus.
Referring to the detection of the delta variant on 16 June during sequencing carried out in Aramaya Place Dematagoda, she noted that with over 100 variants of the coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified, Alpha which was first detected in the United Kingdom (UK), Beta identified as the South African variant, Gamma, which was found in Brazil and Delta which was first detected in India as the four variants of concern. Prof. Malawige said that the delta variant had already spread to 80 countries and was 50 times more virulent than Alpha variant and much more so than COVID -19 that was first detected in Wuhan China.
It was also capable of increased disease severity and death. Explaining, the SJU Prof. said that the virus was spread and contacted through droplets. They are more present in enclosed spaces which are air conditioned and had poor ventilation, she said. Prof. Malawige noted that in order to prevent the spread all people have to make double the effort to maintain health safety regulations. “Remember that you may be vaccinated, but you could still contact the disease and be asymptomatic.
But there is a possibility of passing the disease to others. National Hospital, Colombo Physician, Dr. Harsha Sathishchandra warned that those suffering from non-communicable diseases, who were obese and smokers were highly venerable to the delta variant. They were amongst the group that was more likely to develop complications. “Therefore do not hesitate to visit a hospital if you develop fever symptoms,” he said. Also fever is a symptom not only for COVID but also for dengue and leptospyrosis, he noted.