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[사회]Possibility of delta mutation ‘predominant species’ in Korea… “Existing vaccine effect”

[앵커]

There is an observation that the delta mutant virus, which is spreading rapidly around the world, will become a ‘dominant species’ in Korea.

The quarantine authorities emphasized that it is possible to respond with existing vaccines and that it is urgent to speed up vaccination and lower the fatality rate.

Correspondent Koh Han-seok.

[기자]

The delta mutant virus was first discovered in India in October of last year and has since spread to 104 countries.

The transmission power is up to 2.4 times higher than that of existing mutated viruses.

In Korea, the number has tripled in the past week.

Health officials are also considering the possibility that the delta variant will become the dominant species next month.

[권준욱 / 중앙방역대책본부 제2부본부장 : 우리나라도 조만간 델타 변이가 전체 유행을 주도하게 될 테니까 속도가 더 빨라질 가능성도 있습니다.]

The delta mutation is highly contagious and has a high potential to lead to severe disease.

In the UK, a study also found that an increase in hospitalizations was associated with a greater prevalence of delta mutations.

Can this fast and powerful delta mutation be counteracted by the current vaccine?

First, there are reports that Pfizer and AstraZeneca are effective.

[정은경 / 질병관리청장 (지난 8일) : 델타 변이 바이러스로 인한 감염을 예방하는 데 백신이 조금 효과가 낮아지긴 하지만 여전히 효과적이다, 라는 점과 또 위중증이나 사망을 예방하는 데도 90% 가까이 효과가 있다.]

Some argue that the vaccine should be given first in the 20s and 30s, when the delta mutation spreads rapidly.

However, it is urgent to reduce the fatality rate by vaccinating people in their 50s, who have many underlying diseases.

[김윤 / 서울대 의료관리학과 교수 : 고위험군을 대상으로 한 접종을 더 강화해서 치명률을 독감 수준까지 낮추는 게 빨리 목표가 돼야 할 것 같습니다.]

Overseas, a ‘third dose’ vaccine to prevent delta mutation is being developed, but it seems that it will take some time before the actual vaccination.

This is YTN Koh Han-seok.

YTN Hanseok Ko ([email protected])

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