Larger risk of hospital admission in Delta variant sufferers, study suggests

Nearly three-quarters of coronavirus cases in the study were in people who were unvaccinated.

Larger risk of hospital admission in Delta variant sufferers, study suggests

People infected with the Delta variant of Covid-19 carry twice the risk of needing to be treated in hospital than those with the Alpha strain, a study has suggested.

Researchers looked at more than 43,000 cases in England between March and May with their findings published in medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Nearly three-quarters of coronavirus cases in the study were in people who were unvaccinated, with 1.8% coming in those who had received both inoculations.

Researchers then adjusted these figures to take into account other factors to determine the risk of being admitted to hospital was more than doubled with the Delta variant compared with the Alpha variant.

These included someone’s age, ethnicity and vaccination status.

Dr Gavin Dabrera, one of the study’s lead authors and a consultant epidemiologist at the National Infection Service, Public Health England, said: “This study confirms previous findings that people infected with Delta are significantly more likely to require hospitalisation than those with Alpha, although most cases included in the analysis were unvaccinated.

“It is still important that if you have Covid-19 symptoms, stay home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.”

Data from the UK Government shows 88.2% of people aged 16 and over have had at least one dose of a vaccine, and 90.2 million doses given overall.

Dr Anne Presanis, one of the study’s lead authors and Senior Statistician at the MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, said: “Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any Delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on healthcare than an Alpha epidemic.

“Getting fully vaccinated is crucial for reducing an individual’s risk of symptomatic infection with Delta in the first place, and, importantly, of reducing a Delta patient’s risk of severe illness and hospital admission.”

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