The Delta variant of COVID-19 that is believed to have originated in India has been causing problems, a reason why closer attention on vaccines is being done. There are some vaccines found to be less effective and a researcher now claims that two unnamed Chinese COVID-19 vaccines are less effective against it.

The COVID-19 jabs still offer protection but questions are now in the air as to what extent it can provide. Feng Zijian, researcher and former deputy director at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the two vaccines fell in the category of inactivated vaccines when he appeared on China Central Television on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Feng further explained that these vaccines contain killed coronavirus that cannot replicate human cells. Five of the seven domestically developed vaccines in China are inactivated vaccines. These include shots from Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm used in countries such as Brazil, Bahrain and Chile.

The Delta variant has infected people in three cities in Southern Guangdong province. A total of 170 locals were infected from May 21 to June 21. However, it was unclear how many of them were infected by the Delta strain.

“In the Guangdong outbreak … none of those vaccinated infections became severe cases, and none of the severe cases were vaccinated,” Feng stated.

Feng also stated that the incubation period of the Delta variant was shorter and it could have five to six generations of infections in just 10 days, the South China Morning Post reported.

Aside from these, Professor Jin Dong-yan, a molecular virologist at the University of Hong Kong, believes that the new strain is more challenging since young people are susceptible to infection.

“The Delta variant is more transmissible and it could replicate rapidly in the upper respiratory tract. As a result of that, the more mobile population, the young population, has a good chance to be infected,” Jin said. “This is actually changing the pattern of the patients to some extent and poses challenges to the control of the pandemic.”

A medical staff member shows a bottle of the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine
A medical staff member shows a bottle of the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine Getty Images | Mohd RASFAN / AFP

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