Vaccine Conversations: Dr. Shimi Sharief weighs in on the Delta variant

We continue to see questions surfacing online about the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and its effect on the COVID-19 situation in Oregon. To get some answers to those questions, we sat down with OHA Senior Health Advisor Dr. Shimi Sharief to dive a little deeper into the matter. You can find a recording of the full interview, as well as a list of timestamped questions below.

0:12   What is the Delta variant?1

1:30 How do you test for the Delta variant and at what point would a doctor order advanced studies to determine what variant they’re dealing with?2,3

2:50 Has the Delta variant been resistant to treatment or vaccination?

3:44 Do all three vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States offer the same amount of protection against the Delta variant?

4:44 How quickly is the Delta variant spreading? How contagious is it?4

5:31 Do we need to be doing anything differently to keep ourselves safe from the Delta variant?

6:25 How serious is illness for people who are unvaccinated that contract the Delta variant of COVID-19?

6:58 Children under 12 still aren’t eligible for vaccination and in-person school is just around the corner. Should masking and physical distancing policies be different for this age group?5

7:40 Will booster shots be needed in light of the Delta variant’s spread?

8:36 How do we stay safe moving forward?


  1. SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  2. Criteria for requesting COVID-19 sequencing at Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) – OHA
  3. COVID-19 variants in Oregon Q&A with Dr. Melissa Sutton and Dr. Bill Messer – OHA
  4. COVID Data Tracker – CDC
  5. Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year – OHA and Oregon Department of Education (ODE)