Doctor: To stop spread of Delta variant, get vaccinated or just wear a mask

Jul 27, 2021, 9:06 PM | Updated: 9:07 pm
breakthrough infection...
People shop at a grocery store enforcing the wearing of masks in Los Angeles on July 23, 2021. With the Delta variant pushing US Covid cases back up, fully vaccinated people are wondering whether they need to start masking indoors again. Covid vaccines remain extremely effective against the worst outcomes of the disease -- hospitalization and death -- and breakthrough infections remain rare. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — If you are not vaccinated, at least wear a mask in public to stop the Delta variant from claiming more lives, a Utah doctor strongly stressed.

Due to the surge of the very contagious COVID-19 Delta variant nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on Tuesday, advising fully vaccinated people to wear a mask indoors in places of substantial or high transmission.

The CDC reports the level of community transmission in Salt Lake County is high.

Dr. Tamara Sheffield of Intermountain Healthcare joined the Dave & Dujanovic Show to answer questions about the Delta variant and vaccine efficacy.


RELATED: Delta variant is taking a toll on the unvaccinated

“In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told a media briefing Tuesday, according to CNN.

It’s rare but . . .

With more than 156 million Americans fully vaccinated, around 153,000 symptomatic breakthrough cases happened last week, representing about 0.098% of people fully vaccinated, according to an unpublished internal CDC document obtained by ABC News.

Why is Delta so dangerous?

Sheffield said the reasons the Delta variant is so infectious is because:

  • It’s twice as transmissible
  • It spreads more easily
  • The incubation period is only four days as compared to six for the original coronavirus
  • A person infected with the Delta variant is able to spread the virus longer and infect more unvaccinated people.

Delta only represented 1% of reported infections on May 13. Now it represents at least 83% of cases, according to the CDC.

Unvaccinated people infected with the Delta variant account for  90% of the cases that Intermountain Healthcare is seeing, said Sheffield.

Vaccines are armor protection

She added that the vaccines are doing their job battling the Delta variant.

Pfizer vaccine has been 88% effective for symptoms of coronavirus and 96% protective against hospitalization.

“We are feeling very confident that those who are vaccinated are going to be well-protected,” Sheffield said.

She added t the virus survives by mutating; it cannot survive nor mutate within a fully vaccinated person.

“So, if we can stop it from infecting you, we stop it from mutating,” Sheffield said.

Vaccine for young kids?

The FDA is indicating that by late summer or early fall a vaccine will likely be available for younger children, Sheffield said.

At least wear a mask

She reminded listeners that the CDC’s policy for the unvaccinated has not changed: Wear a mask if you are indoors with others.

“We need to be responsible, not just for keeping ourselves safe, but for everybody around us, and especially those who are unvaccinated,” Sheffield said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

Dave & Dujanovic

emergency kits are a vital part of preparedness for families...
Curt Gresseth

How families should prepare for an emergency at home or away

Do you have an emergency reunification plan ready for your loved ones? Two experts share tips on what to do when disaster strikes while at home or away.
2 months ago
Cherie Wood...
Curt Gresseth

South Salt Lake mayor defends new $130,000 salary

The mayor of South Salt Lake defended her latest salary of $130,000 by saying she hasn't received a pay raise in 11 years in office.
2 months ago
South Salt Lake at Southern X-posure, the site of a deadly shooting....
Curt Gresseth

South Salt Lake resident wants to stop mayor and City Council from awarding themselves raises

A South Salt Lake resident has taken his ballot initiative on pay raises for city leaders to the Utah Supreme Court after being rebuffed by the city attorney on what he said was a technicality.
2 months ago
Connerjack Oswalt was found in Park City, Utah after being missing from California years ago. (CNN)...
Curt Gresseth

Missing three years, autistic teen found in Park City

An autistic teen missing from northern California since 2019 was found by sheriff's deputies in Summit County, Utah. He has since been reunited with his stepfather.
2 months ago
Debbie busts inflation by buying consigned clothes....
Debbie Dujanovic

Dujanovic: Battling inflation like it’s 1981

Inflation has Debbie Dujanovic budgeting like it's 1981. She has tips on how to battle inflation and save your wallet some tears.
3 months ago
Devin Oldroyd

Utah wants your help redesigning the state flag by April 30

MILLCREEK, Utah — Utah residents have until April 30 to submit their ideas for a redesign of the Utah state flag.  According to a press release from the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, Gov. Spencer J. Cox launched the “More than a Flag” effort in January. The effort is part of a statewide […]
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Doctor: To stop spread of Delta variant, get vaccinated or just wear a mask