We previously reported on the speed with which the Delta variant of concern (VOC) took hold in Scotland. The Delta VOC has subsequently established itself in many other parts of the world and has emerged as the dominant strain internationally. Recent data have shown that the Delta VOC is more transmissible, associated with higher rates of hospitalisation than other variants, and that vaccines might be less effective in preventing infection than they are with the Alpha VOC. Consequently, there are concerns about the extent to which lockdown restrictions can safely be lifted, even in countries with high vaccination coverage.
Shah, S., Moore, E., Robertson, C., McMenamin, J., Katikireddi, S., Simpson, C., Shi, T., Agrawal, U., McCowan, C., Stock, S., Ritchie, L. & Sheikh, A. 2021, 'Predicted COVID-19 positive cases, hospitalisations, and deaths associated with the Delta variant of concern, June-July, 2021', The Lancet Digital Health, 3(9), pp. E539-E541. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(21)00175-8