A dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines reduces the chances that a person infected with the coronavirus will pass it on to other members of the household by up to 50%, according to an English study published on Wednesday.
Research from Public Health England (PHE) found that those who were infected three weeks after receiving their first vaccine were between 38 and 49% less likely to pass the virus to their household contacts than those who were not vaccinated.
“This is great news – we already know that vaccines save lives and this study is the most comprehensive real data showing that they also reduce the transmission of this deadly virus,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“This further reinforces the fact that vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic because they protect you and they can prevent you from unknowingly infecting someone in your household,” he added.
The study drew data from more than 57,000 contacts in 24,000 households in which there was a laboratory-confirmed case that had received vaccination, compared with nearly one million contacts of unvaccinated cases.
Previous studies have already shown that being vaccinated reduces a person’s risk of developing a symptomatic infection in the first place by up to 65 percent, four weeks after a dose.
Households are considered to be areas at ‘high risk’ of transmission, and “similar results might be expected in other settings with similar transmission risks, such as shared housing and prisons,” the study said. PHE.
“Not only do vaccines reduce the severity of the disease and prevent hundreds of deaths every day, but we are now seeing that they also have an additional impact on reducing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to other people,” said Mary Ramsay, immunization manager at PHE.
Previous PHE studies estimated that the successful rollout of the British vaccine had prevented 10,400 deaths among those over 60 by the end of March.
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