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USF Health virologist addresses delta variant concerns

"It's a matter of risk reduction still. Even if you're vaccinated you could still get infected and even if you're asymptomatic, you could be spreading the virus."

On 10 Tampa Bay, we’re committed to keeping you up to date with all the latest COVID-19 news. From the latest on where Tampa Bay stands with vaccines, to monitoring the COVID-19 variants, we’ll continue tracking information.

Dr. Michael Teng, Ph.D., is a virologist at USF Health.

Here are some of the questions he addressed about the Delta variant:

Q: What’s driving the delta COVID-19 variant right now?

A: “First off, that it is more transmissible than the variant which was previously dominant here in Florida. So this means, it's easier to get infected. We're starting to figure out why that is, it seems that it grows better in people. The bigger problem is, since it's more transmissible it's going to more quickly find those people who are not vaccinated."

Q: Are there any additional measures fully vaccinated people need to take to protect themselves?

A: “So there's no additional measures that are necessary. I think it's a matter of risk reduction still. Even if you're vaccinated you could still get infected and even if you're asymptomatic, you could be spreading the virus. So, if you get it somewhere and then bring it home you may give it to your unvaccinated children. So, try to avoid being in large crowds"

RELATED: Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the Delta variant

Q: Pfizer is pressing its case for a booster shot for its vaccine, do you think it’s needed right now?

A: "The fact of the matter is that we have pretty good immunity from two doses of a Pfizer vaccine. We have billions of people in the world that have not gotten a vaccine. They haven't gotten a first dose yet. We should focus more on making sure that everybody has at least, you know, the immunity that we have here in the United States so we can block transmission of the virus before we start worrying about a slight wane in the number of antibodies that we have over six months."

RELATED: Pfizer is set to discuss COVID-19 vaccine booster with US officials

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