A new study into the Delta variant of Covid-19 suggests that those who contract the variant are twice as likely to require hospital care than those who contracted the original disease.
The findings, which were published in medical journal the Lancet, looked at cases of the disease between March and May.
However, it found that vaccination “leads to a similar relative reduction in the risk of hospitalisation for patients with the delta variant or the alpha variant”.
Experts said that the study proved why it was so important for everyone to get vaccinated against the disease.
Dr Gavin Dabrera, from Public Health England, which carried out the study, told the BBC: “We already know that vaccination offers excellent protection against Delta and, as this variant accounts for over 99 per cent of Covid cases in the UK, it is vital that those who have not received two doses of vaccine do so as soon as possible.
“It is still important that if you have Covid symptoms, stay home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.”
Scientists evaluated 43,338 Covid cases that occurred in the two month period, when both the Alpha and Delta variants were in circulation.
Most of those infected did not need hospital care, but a small proportion – 196 (2.3 per cent) of the people infected with Delta and 764 (2.2 per cent) of those with Alpha – did.
Risk of hospital admission was twice as high for individuals diagnosed with the Delta variant, compared to those with Alpha, after adjusting for differences such as age, sex and ethnicity.
The study comes as cases of Covid-19 continue to edge up in the UK, with over 38,000 cases and 100 deaths recorded yesterday.
Around 42m people, or about 78 per cent of adults, have now had two doses of a vaccine.
A recent study showed that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine had a 96 per cent effectiveness against vaccination, while for the Astrazeneca vaccine the figure is 92 per cent.