What Your Health Ministry Needs to Know About Variants

Viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others persist. New variants will continue to emerge. CDC and other public health organizations monitor all variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States and globally.


The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than the original SARS-CoV-2 strain of the virus that cause COVID-19. Vaccines remain the best way to reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

Top Things You Need to Know

  1. New variants of the virus are expected to occur. Taking measures to reduce the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine, are the best ways to slow the emergence of new variants.

  2. Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

  3. COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for individuals who are 18 years or older.

  4. The Omicron Variant of Concern has been detected in the United States. CDC is following the details of this new variant. CDC’s Media Statement

Scientists monitor all variants but may classify certain ones as variants being monitored, variants of interest, variants of concern and variants of high consequence. Some variants spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.

These classifications are based on how easily the variant spreads, how severe the symptoms are, how the variant responds to treatments, and how well vaccines protect against the variant.


Download a sharable infographic about variants from the Voices for Vaccines (VFV), a national organization dedicated to raising the level of the voices of immunization supporters:

Infographic_Delta Variant_English 8-25-21
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Download PDF • 258KB

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases

More Information about Covid-19 and Variants: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant.html


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