Single COVID-19 vaccine dose reduces household transmission by 49%

household transmission
© Stanislav Sukhin

New Public Health England (PHE) study finds that one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine reduces household transmission by up to 49%

New research, by PHE, has found that people who become infected 3 weeks after receiving their first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine were between 38-49% less likely to transmit the virus to others in their household.

Protection was seen from 14 days after vaccination, on top of the reduced risk (60-65%) of a vaccinated person developing COVID-19 symptoms 4 weeks after their first dose.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:

“This is terrific news – we already know vaccines save lives and this study is the most comprehensive real-world data showing they also cut transmission of this deadly virus.

“It further reinforces that vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic as they protect you and they may prevent you from unknowingly infecting someone in your household.

“I urge everybody to get their vaccines as soon as they are eligible and make sure you get your second dose for the strongest possible protection.”

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said:

“Vaccines are vital in helping us return to a normal way of life. Not only do vaccines reduce the severity of illness and prevent hundreds of deaths every day, we now see they also have an additional impact on reducing the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others. I encourage anyone who is offered a vaccine to take it as soon as possible.

“While these findings are very encouraging, even if you have been vaccinated, it is really important that you continue to act like you have the virus, practise good hand hygiene and follow social distancing guidance.”

The study included over 57,000 contacts from 24,000 households in which there was a lab-confirmed case that had received a vaccination, compared with nearly 1 million contacts of unvaccinated cases.

Read the full study here.


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