In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported that over 157 million have already received their first dose of vaccines, while more than 122 million are fully vaccinated. These numbers are still climbing as more people receive COVID-19 vaccines.
But even so, health experts said that the public should still practice caution until the majority of people are vaccinated. The public should still practice health protocols, such as wearing face masks when in public, regardless of their vaccination status.
This reminder might be confusing for some vaccinated people but at the beginning of the vaccination drive in the US, little is known about the possibility of COVID-19 transmission even after getting vaccinated. But a series of studies, including real-world data, have shown the potential of COVID-19 transmission for a fully vaccinated person.
Effectiveness of Vaccines
Real-world studies and clinical trials have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available by vaccine developers, such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and many others, are effective at preventing severe COVID-19.
Even with the variants recently discovered, scientists claim that existing vaccines are effective against them. According to Healthline, some of these vaccines are proven to be excellent at preventing infections, including asymptomatic diseases.
Recently, Pfizer and Moderna have announced that their COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the new SARS-CoV-2 variant found in India, identified as B.1.617 that the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed as a "variant of concern."
Can COVID-19 Be Transmitted After Vaccination?
At the beginning of vaccination drives around the world, the question of whether fully vaccinated people could transmit the disease has always been asked. But with the series of studies and real-world data, this is finally answered.
An infectious disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong thinks that fully vaccinated people are "very unlikely" to transmit the virus.
"The more evidence we get, it appears it's very unlikely for a vaccinated person to transfer the virus to someone else," Chin-Hong said according to Rochester First.com.
Moreover, the vaccines are found to be especially effective at preventing asymptomatic disease, which Chin-Hong says is where most of the transmission could be.
He cited the studies in the UK and in Israel where results showed "very little transmission from vaccinated people."
For instance, the study conducted in Israel showed that the Pfizer vaccine was at least 97% effective in preventing symptomatic disease, critical COVID-19, and death.
Writing in the Lancet, the authors said that "These findings are of international importance as vaccination programs ramp up across the rest of the world, suggesting that other countries can similarly achieve marked and sustained declines in SARS-CoV-2 incidence if they can achieve high vaccine uptake."
Ultimately, getting fully vaccinated decreases the chances of spreading COVID-19, and therefore, protecting the population.
Check out more news and information on COVID-19 Vaccines on Science Times.