A study has found that some people who become infected with the Delta variant rather than the original strain of COVID-19 are twice as likely to be hospitalized.

The study, which was published in The Lancet medical journal on Friday, was conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom who aimed to characterize "the severity of the delta variant compared with the alpha variant by determining the relative risk of hospital attendance outcomes."

The group evaluated 34,656 patients who were infected with the original alpha variant and 8,682 who were infected with the Delta variant between March 29 and May 23.

The study revealed 2.3% of patients with the Delta variant were hospitalized within 14 days of testing positive compared to 2.2% of individuals infected with the original strain.

Less than 2% of the patients were fully vaccinated, 74% were unvaccinated, and the rest of the subjects were partially vaccinated by having had received one dose of a vaccine that requires two doses to be fully protected against the virus.

Anne Presanis, one of the authors of the study, noted that receiving the vaccine would have a significant effect on reducing the risk of symptoms of the Delta variant.

“Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on healthcare than an alpha epidemic,” Presanis stated as noted by The Hill.

“Getting fully vaccinated is crucial for reducing an individual’s risk of symptomatic infection with delta.”

After considering underlying conditions and other risk factors, the study ultimately found that those who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated were twice as likely to be hospitalized if infected with the Delta variant and nearly 1.5 times more likely to require emergency medical care compared to earlier variants.

Hector Lopez, a 26-year-old in hospital with Covid-19, said that his family was not careful enough Hector Lopez, a 26-year-old in hospital with COVID-19, said that his family was not careful enough. Photo: AFP / ALFREDO ESTRELLA