‘Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated “can both transmit Covid” was the headline. A Public Health England (PHE) analysis found little difference in the levels of virus in people who’d been jabbed, and those who hadn’t. We’d been told that the vaccinations would prevent transmission – but how is the pandemic going to be stopped if we’re all still spreading the coronavirus?
The Delta variant causes a higher viral load than the Alpha strain, even after vaccination. “This may mean that there is limited vaccine effect against onward transmission for the Delta variant,” said government scientists in the minutes of a Sage meeting.
As Private Frazer of Dad’s Army would say, ‘We’re all doomed! Doomed!’
But read on. There’s hope, I think. ‘Even if viral load may be the same, vaccinated people who become infected are less likely to be infectious than unvaccinated because vaccines reduce virus shedding time, symptomatic infection, and the presence of immune response will suppress the viable virus,’ said Dr Muge Cevik, a clinical lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology at St Andrews.[i]
So even if I get Covid because I’ve been vaccinated my immune system will stamp on it quickly and I won’t spread it around. Well, only for a short time.
But Private Frazer can breathe again: Dr Meagan Kall, an epidemiologist at PHE said that the analysis had only looked at people who had an unusual infection after the jab, and not the general vaccinated population.
‘Vaccines prevent many infections occurring in the first place, so we can only compare vaccine ‘breakthrough infections’ versus unvaccinated infection,’ she said. Why hadn’t the first paragraph mentioned that very important fact?
I find it very confusing and understand why people feel unsure and nervous. Do the jabs work or not? Looking at what’s happening on the ground, yes, they do. The number of infections and deaths is definitely falling. We’d like to see them plummet to zero, but Covid is going to be staying around, it seems, like the ‘Flu.
It’s enough to make you stop listening to the news and give up buying newspapers. Now that rings a bell because that’s exactly what many people tell me they are doing.
[i] The Telegraph 07/08/2021