One case of the delta variant of the novel coronavirus has been detected in Volusia County, according to officials from the Volusia County Department of Health, as of July 1.
This particular variant of COVID-19, first identified in India, is notable for spreading more easily and quickly than some other strains of the virus, Volusia County Department of Health spokesman Ethan Johnson told The Beacon.
“The most effective protection against the delta variant is vaccination,” Johnson said. “Residents who have not been vaccinated are the most susceptible to the variants, and make up the majority of new COVID-19 cases.”
Ahead of the upcoming school year, the Volusia County Department of Health is also encouraging children to get vaccinated.
“They [parents] should keep in mind that the Pfizer vaccine is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. Also, 14 days must pass after the final dose before the vaccine provides maximum immunity,” Johnson said. “With this in mind, eligible school-aged children should get vaccinated as soon as possible to benefit from the vaccine’s maximum protection by the beginning of the school year.”
Children over the age of 12 are currently eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida. The Pfizer-produced vaccine is available to all individuals age 12 and up, while the Johnson & Johnson- and Moderna-produced vaccines are available to all individuals age 18 and up.
Children ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.
Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced June 29 that its two-shot COVID-19 vaccine appears to be effective against the more contagious delta variant. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy also stated in an interview with CNBC that the Johnson & Johnson-produced COVID-19 vaccine is likely to also combat the delta variant well. Early studies out of the United Kingdom have begun to demonstrate the Pfizer-produced vaccine will also offer protection against the virus variant.
The county Department of Health continues to recommend Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in relation to wearing masks and social distancing.
The Volusia County Department of Health continues to recommend all unvaccinated individuals follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it comes to wearing a mask.
Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
Masks are recommended by the CDC:
For all individuals 2 years of age and older.
Anytime you are in a public setting.
Anytime you are traveling on a plane, bus, train, or other form of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
When you are around people who do not live with you, including inside your home or inside someone else’s home.
Inside your home if someone you live with is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.
— Volusia County Department of Health spokesman Ethan Johnson
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Florida Department of Health website, HERE, or the CDC and Prevention website, HERE. To locate vaccines near you, visit the CDC-operated vaccine locator, HERE.