PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, a Bay Area medical expert explains how the current vaccines are combatting the virus.

President Biden announced last week that more than 300 million vaccines have been administered around the country in under 150 days. While that number is a feat in itself in the face of logistics and deployment, Bay Area internal medicine specialist, Dr. Malholtra says the larger number of new infections and longer cases remain, the higher the chances are of variants in the virus.

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“We have the baseline virus, the Covid virus which was the original one. And that has been spreading. Then, of course there are some viruses that will run at a faster rate in terms of transmission,” Explains Dr. Malholtra. One if which is the Delta variant which is at least sixty percent faster in producing more cases. 

He provides an analog using production. “Imagine one factory pushing out one product an hour and the other one pushing out one point six products every hour.” Because the Delta is infecting more rapidly and is more transmissible, it is more of a threat. “The Delta variant is currently about twenty percent of new cases in the U.S.; but scary thing is only a week ago it was only ten percent.” 

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For this reason, Dr. Malholtra warns those who are unvaccinated need to be more careful and exercise safety precautions. “As we become more immune to one type of virus, there will be come changes, mutations of the virus that might survived the immunity that we have produced.”

He adds that a recent UK study shows the vaccines available in the U.S. are extremely effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19. In fact, “About eighty-nine percent effective against the Delta variant, against infection. About ninety-six percent effective against hospitalizations amongst those who get the virus in spite of being vaccinated.”

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Based on that data, the doctor strongly urges those who are not vaccinated to so as a shield of protection. He adds “the vaccine is the best game-changer that we’ve seen with this pandemic, since it has come out. We’ve seen our own economy open up, our masks come off in many places. And I ask my patients who were initially hesitant to get the vaccine, but later got the vaccine how they feel and each one of them say, ‘Doctor, I feel that I am so much safer’.”