The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD), and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), have warned that individuals yet to receive Covid-19 vaccination are more vulnerable to the deadly Delta variant of Coronavirus than those fully vaccinated.
Both professional bodies also clarified that based on happenings in other climes, the effect of the Delta variant was mild in persons who were fully vaccinated by taking both jabs of the vaccine to complete their dose. President, Guild of Medical Directors (GMD), Prof. Olufemi Babalola, who expressed concern over the attitude of Nigerians, warned that vaccinated or not, there was need for strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, which include social distancing, and use of face masks.
Babalola stressed that being cautious was the best preventive measure from the virus, as the vaccines presently available were not 100 per cent effective against the Delta variant. He said: “From what we have seen in the UK already, quite a number of people who have been vaccinated with two jabs already are having infections; this is what we call breakthrough infections.
“What they are saying is that people who have been vaccinated tend not to have very serious form of the illness and even if they do get ill, it is not to the extent that they will need hospitalisation or a ventilator. Even if they are hospitalised, their chances of surviving the illness are much higher than those people who have not been vaccinated. “If you have been vaccinated, you still need to be cautious; social distance, wear face masks especially in public places especially people who have not been vaccinated; you are much more vulnerable to the disease and of course, we know that the Delta variant is more transmissible and virulent than the Alpha variant which was the one that we experienced in Nigeria sometime ago.”
The NARD President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, who emphasised that only about two per cent of the entire Nigerian population had been vaccinated, said it was necessary for Nigerians to protect themselves while the country strives towards achieving herd immunity against the virus and its variants. He said: “We have thrown caution to the air, we seem not to know what is happening in places like India where they lost thousands of people in just a day. We need to wake up to the reality that COVID-19 is real, people have died from it and the best way is to try and prevent the spread so it will be better for Nigeria.” On the possibility of new vaccines to counter effects of the Delta variant, both professionals maintained that vaccine development was a continuous process and with time, more potent vaccines could be developed.