03 Aug Can A Vaccinated Person Spread Covid-19?
The development of several effective vaccines like Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson has significantly slowed down the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Data from several studies around the world show that complete vaccination can cut transmission rates by up to 80%, protecting vulnerable individuals living with those who have received the vaccine. However, one question that has arisen is whether a vaccinated person can spread Covid-19, a question that is gaining momentum as the medical community encounters breakthrough cases.
If you have been vaccinated or spend time with vaccinated individuals, it will be helpful to understand whether you or they can spread the virus.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines work by providing the body with ‘memory data’ to use when battling future infections with the same vector. By exposing the body to a weakened version of the target virus (among other methods, depending on the vaccine), the vaccine tells the body’s defense systems what to do if a similar virus enters the body again.
In general, vaccines do not prevent infection or reinfection if an individual is exposed to the virus. Instead, they prepare the body to fight better and faster when infection occurs. Because of this, individuals who are fully vaccinated are not immune to the coronavirus.
However, getting vaccinated makes it more difficult to spread the virus because the body has become so efficient at fighting and destroying the virus. That is why before the emergence of the Delta variant, the medical community was optimistic that complete vaccination was a sure way to halt the spread of the virus and potentially allow people to resume their normal lives.
The Delta variant increases risk of spread
The emergence and spread of the Delta variant is generating data showing that fully vaccinated individuals can still spread the virus, especially to the unvaccinated and those in vulnerable groups.
According to the CDC, the Delta variant now accounts for 82% of all new infections in the US while spreading up to 50% faster than other variants.
The CDC has also found that fully vaccinated individuals who get the Delta variant host large numbers of the virus in the back of the nose, making them potential spreaders.
While the new variant is more contagious and spreads faster, it also has fewer symptoms, especially in vaccinated individuals. This lack of symptoms makes it easy for vaccinated individuals to infect others unknowingly, which increases the exposure of vulnerable individuals to what is emerging as the deadliest variant of Covid-19.
How not to spread the virus when fully vaccinated
As discussed, it is still possible to get reinfected, so a vaccinated person can spread Covid to those around you even if you are fully vaccinated. One of the best ways to prevent the spread is to follow the CDC’s guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, which emphasize wearing a mask when in high-transmission scenarios like group events or when around the elderly or immunocompromised individuals.
Another way to reduce the risk of spread is to get tested, especially if you come into contact with an individual who has Covid-19. Testing ensures you are not carrying the virus without symptoms and will not pass it on unknowingly.
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Covid-19 Testing: As Important As Ever For Vaccinated Individuals
Here in the US, we are seeing more fully vaccinated people with high viral counts of the new Delta strain. If you are fully vaccinated, accurate screening after exposure to Covid-19 can catch any new infection early and ensure that you do not spread it to the ones around you. Concierge MD makes testing simple with in-home or in-office appointments and same day results (depending on the type of test you choose).
To find out more about our in-home Covid-19 testing for fully vaccinated individuals, contact us today or click the button below to request a Covid-19 test.