Facts about the Delta variant

Here are six facts to know about COVID-19 and the Delta variant. 


COVID-19 infection rates are still on the rise. Because of this, everyone ages 2 and older should wear a face mask, social distance and wash hands regularly to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Also, everyone who can get a COVID-19 vaccine should get one. It will help to protect you and your loved ones from serious illness and death related to COVID-19.


Key facts about the virus and the vaccine

1. The COVID-19 Delta variant may be more than two times as contagious as previous COVID-19 variants. This means that it spreads much more easily than other strains of the virus that cause COVID-19. 


2. Unvaccinated people are more likely to get COVID-19, become seriously ill and spread the virus. While vaccinated people can get COVID-19, data shows that FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines help to keep them from getting seriously ill and needing to be hospitalized.1

3. While older age groups are getting vaccinated, younger people are getting sicker faster. They’re also becoming seriously ill.

4. COVID-19 will continue to change. The best way to slow the development of new variants is to protect yourself by wearing a mask and getting the vaccine. Many places in the U.S. offer COVID-19 shots. To get your shot, find a location near you.

5. Most people get over COVID-19 in a few weeks, but some have symptoms for a month or more. While much is still unknown, the CDC reports that "long-haul" conditions can show up in many ways.

These include breathing problems, fatigue, joint pain and mood changes. More serious issues include damage to your organs or your ability to fight illness.2, 3

6. Now that fall is here, vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu. Also, you should know that symptoms of COVID-19, flu and colds can be similar. You may need to be tested to find out which virus you have.

To help slow the spread of these viruses, take simple steps. Get your COVID-19 and flu shots, wear face masks, practice social distancing and stay home when you don’t feel well.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Delta Variant: What We Know About the Science. Accessed October 4, 2021.
  2. HelpGuide. Long COVID: Symptoms and Help for COVID Long Haulers. Accessed October 4, 2021. 
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Post-COVID Conditions. Accessed October 4, 2021.

* June 20–July 17, 2021. Compared with people fully vaccinated. Based on publicly available information via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on case rates, protection, Delta variant and other variants, as of August 9, 2021.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.