Study shows how vaccinated still spread the dominant Delta variant

People who have received two vaccine doses against Covid-19 have a lower, but still appreciable, risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant compared with the unvaccinated, a new study has revealed.

accinated people clear the infection more quickly, but the peak viral load among the vaccinated is similar to that seen in the unvaccinated.

This might explain why they can readily pass on the virus in household settings, according to the study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths from the coronavirus, but some studies suggest they may be less effective against the Delta variant – currently the dominant strain in Ireland and worldwide.

The reason for this has not been established. Most Covid-19 transmission is known to occur in households, yet there is limited data on the risk of transmission of the Delta variant from vaccinated people with asymptomatic or mild infections in the community.

Professor Ajit Lalvani of Imperial College London – 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.

“We found that susceptibility to infection increased already within a few months after the second vaccine dose – so those eligible for Covid-19 booster shots should get them promptly.”

The new study enrolled 621 participants, identified by the UK contact tracing system, between September 2020 and September 2021.

All participants had mild Covid-19 illness or were asymptomatic.

Demographic and vaccination status information were collected on enrolment, and participants had daily PCR tests to detect infection, regardless of whether or not they had symptoms. 

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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