The Reuters cited a “summary of recent studies” that Americans who have been following the actual science on Covid-19 have been waiting to see reported by a mainstream news media outlet.
While the studies cited come with a disclaimer that they raise issues that merit further research, they also echo findings in other medical studies and in the public health data.
The first studies reported on the effects of Covid-19 further substantiate that Delta is not more dangerous for young people than the Alpha variant. Furthermore, it states that “very few children needed to be hospitalized and long periods of illness were uncommon”:
The Delta variant of the coronavirus does not appear to cause more severe disease in children than earlier forms of the virus, a UK study suggests. Earlier this year, the research team found the Alpha variant of the virus did not appear to make children sicker than the so-called wild, or original, form of the virus, first seen in China.
New data suggests that kids also do not get any sicker from Delta than they did from Alpha. Researchers compared two groups of school-age children with COVID-19: 694 infected with the Alpha variant between late December 2020 and early May 2021, and 706 infected with Delta between late May and early July.
As reported on Thursday on medRxiv ahead of peer review, children infected with Delta had slightly more symptoms. But in both groups, very few children needed to be hospitalized and long periods of illness were uncommon. In both groups, half of the children were sick for no more than five days. The researchers lacked information on differences between the groups that might have influenced the results, such as whether lockdowns were in place, and the effects of different seasons.
“Our data suggest that clinical characteristics of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant in children are broadly similar to COVID-19 due to other variants,” the researchers concluded.
The UK study backs up the findings that were earlier announced by the CDC.
“Although we are seeing more cases in children … these studies demonstrated that there was not increased disease severity in children,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky earlier said of the Delta-driven wave in a statement. “More children have COVID-19 because there is more disease in the community.”
Reuters then doubled up on the medical reporting by pointing that “secondary immune response stronger after infection than vaccination.”
In COVID-19 survivors, important components of the body’s immune response called memory B cells continue to evolve and get stronger for at least several months, producing highly potent antibodies that can neutralize new variants of the virus, a new study has found.
By comparison, vaccine-induced memory B cells are less robust, evolving for only a few weeks and never ‘learning’ to protect against variants, researchers reported in a paper published on Thursday in Nature.
COVID-19 vaccines do induce more antibodies than the immune system does after a coronavirus infection. But the immune system response to infection appears to outshine its response to vaccines when it comes to memory B cells. Regardless of whether antibodies are induced by infection or vaccine, their levels drop within six months in many people. But memory B cells stand ready to produce new antibodies if the body encounters the virus.
Prior to this study, there had been little data on how vaccine-induced B cells compare to infection-induced B cells.
Earlier, an Israeli study
“This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity,” an Israeli study’s conclusions read.
The CDC’s figures estimated that at least 120 million Americans had been infected with Covid-19 by the end of May, thus possessing superior natural immunity. That figure can be projected to be at least 150 million currently, due to the Delta variant wave and the CDC’s estimate there are at least four Covid infections for every case reported.