British study shows: Vaccinated people can be so infectious

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A Corona vaccination should not only protect against infection, for a long time experts hoped that vaccinated people would also pass on the virus less. A study now shows that despite full vaccination protection, people with breakthrough infections have a peak viral load similar to that of unvaccinated people and can effectively transmit the virus – even to fully vaccinated contacts. This is reported by Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland and refers to a study from Great Britain, which was published in the journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases”.

In it, 602 contact persons of 471 Corona-infected persons were asked to take samples of the upper respiratory tract over a period of up to 20 days. A total of 8145 samples were thus collected between September 13, 2020, and September 15, 2021. Both household members and other contacts over 5 years of age were eligible for the study.

The research team examined viral load trajectories of fully vaccinated individuals with delta infection and compared them with those of unvaccinated individuals with delta, alpha, and pre-alpha infection.

Few differences
Primary outcomes were assessment of secondary infection rates in household contacts – that is, the likelihood of infection occurring in susceptible individuals within specific groups of people. In addition, maximum viral load, viral growth rate, and viral decline rate were examined between participants in relation to different Corona variants and vaccination status.

The secondary infection rate among household contacts exposed to the delta variant was 25 percent among fully vaccinated individuals and 38 percent among unvaccinated individuals, according to the researchers. It was relatively unimportant whether the infected person who passed on the virus had already been vaccinated or not (25 percent for vaccinated versus 23 percent for unvaccinated).

Peak viral load
Peak viral load did not vary greatly despite vaccination status or variant type, although it did increase slightly with age. Among fully vaccinated individuals with delta variant infection, viral load declined slightly faster on average. In unvaccinated individuals, it decreased somewhat more slowly. In addition, it also rose faster and slightly higher on average.

As the results of the study show, vaccination does reduce the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates “viral clearance,” or the removal of coronaviruses from the body. Still, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have a peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can pass the infection in the home environment – even to fully vaccinated contacts. Regular testing and spacing as well as hygiene rules are therefore advisable, especially during flu season, even for vaccinated individuals. A booster vaccination is also strongly recommended, especially for people over 70 years of age or with a previous illness.

  • source: kurier.at/picture:pixabay.com
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