The Delta variant infected all unvaccinated guests at a Sydney party – Business Insider

  • Almost all of the guests at a birthday party near Sydney later tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The six fully vaccinated guests remained healthy.
  • Only 5% of Australians are fully vaccinated, leaving the population vulnerable to the Delta variant.

A birthday party in Australia has been called a “superspreader” event after 24 out of 30 guests tested positive for COVID-19.

The highly infectious Delta variant could have infected every guest at the party had there not been six fully vaccinated healthcare workers in attendance, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Monday.

“To emphasize just how important vaccinations are … not one of those 24 people were vaccinated,” Hazzard told reporters, per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“I can also advise that six health workers who attended the party, who were fully vaccinated, not one of those people has been infected,” he added.

Among those six was an elderly party guest, a care worker who had only received a single dose of the vaccine. Despite that individual’s risk factors, they still did not contract the virus, Hazzard said.

The Delta variant is driving Australia’s recent outbreaks

The birthday party took place in the West Hoxton area of Sydney on June 19. Another seven cases have been linked to the party since household contacts were exposed to the infected guests.

The 31 cases linked to the party are just one cluster in the outbreak affecting Sydney, which tallies to 170 active cases in New South Wales. The state is currently under a stay-at-home order in an attempt to curb the spread.

Other areas of Australia are also tightening up restrictions, either by closing borders to affected regions or reintroducing mask-wearing and social distancing indoors.

Australia did a much better job controlling its coronavirus outbreak in the first year of the pandemic compared to most countries — including the US. But the country’s relatively low case and death counts meant that it was not as quick to procure COVID-19 vaccines.

With roughly 5% of the Australian population fully vaccinated, the country is especially vulnerable to the arrival of the Delta variant, which is far more infectious than the original virus.

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