Scientists say fully vaccinated people can transmit Delta variant

fully vaccinated people, delta variant
© Gabriel Petrescu

A UK study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that fully vaccinated people can still catch and transmit the Delta variant of COVID

According to a new study in the UK, even people who are fully vaccinated can transmit the Delta variant.

As the WHO predicted in June, 2021, the Delta variant is now globally dominant.

While vaccines are still considered to be highly effective at preventing COVID hospitalisation and death, some studies have suggested that they are less impactful against the Delta variant.

25% of vaccinated household contacts got COVID

In their analysis, the scientists found that 25% of vaccinated household contacts tested positive for COVID, in comparison with 38% of unvaccinated household contacts appearing to catch COVID.

Dr Anika Singanayagam, co-lead author of the study, said: “Understanding the extent to which vaccinated people can pass on the delta variant to others is a public health priority. By carrying out repeated and frequent sampling from contacts of COVID-19 cases, we found that vaccinated people can contract and pass on infection within households, including to vaccinated household members.”

It seems that the infectiousness of vaccinated cases was similar to levels in unvaccinated cases.

In good news, it seems that infections in vaccinated people cleared faster than in unvaccinated people.

“Vaccines are critical” says Professor Lalvani

Professor Ajit Lalvani of Imperial College London, UK, who co-led the study, said: “Vaccines are critical to controlling the pandemic, as we know they are very effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19. However, our findings show that vaccination alone is not enough to prevent people from being infected with the delta variant and spreading it in household settings.

“The ongoing transmission we are seeing between vaccinated people makes it essential for unvaccinated people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from acquiring infection and severe COVID-19, especially as more people will be spending time inside in close proximity during the winter months.”

Read the full study here.


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