Dr. Paul Duprex is encouraged by the vaccination rate in Pennsylvania.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to make headlines and force changes in health mandates.

According to the director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research, Dr. Paul Duprex, variants can be explained in one word: evolution.

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“It’s able to change. It’s able to evolve, and that’s where variants come from,” he said.

He said for vaccinated people, the vaccines still work against the variants. You should be protected from it, and breakthrough cases should be less severe.

“The vaccines don’t go from working really well to not working at all overnight. That’s just not what happens with vaccines,” Dr. Duprex said.

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Whereas, unvaccinated people may still deal with the harsh consequences of COVID-19. Dr. Duprex said the more the virus spreads, the greater the chance for another variant.

“It has a much better chance of winning that evolutionary lottery. It could evolve to outsmart the good vaccines that we have,” he told KDKA.

That’s why Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research continues to work with the virus to make sure vaccines can handle anything thrown at them.

“We can then check the antibodies and see how the antibodies for people who have been vaccinated,” Dr. Duprex said. “We can see how well those new viruses are.”

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Dr. Duprex is encouraged by the vaccination rate in Pennsylvania. He wants people who are unvaccinated to read trustworthy sources and learn more about them.