Berlin, 12 February 2021 (dpa/MIA) – A recent study has made a first step towards answering an important question regarding Covid-19 vaccines, finding that people who have had the shot have a lower viral load and are therefore less contagious than those who have not.
Clemens Wendtner, an expert from a hospital in Munich, said on Friday that the result was an “occasion for hope,” though the study conducted by Israeli scientists has not been peer-reviewed yet.
While it has been scientifically proven that a vaccination protects people against Covid-19, the lung disease caused by the novel coronavirus, it is not certain whether vaccinated people can still contract and pass on the virus itself.
Scientists around researcher Idan Yelin at the Institute of Technology in Haifa looked at the lab results of 5,800 infected people, of whom half had received the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.
The team found that patients who were vaccinated produced four times fewer virus particles 12 to 28 days after the shot than those who had not received a jab.
“The vaccine BNT162b2 does not only lead to individual protection of the vaccinated person regarding a Covid-19 illness, but it can be assumed that with sufficient vaccination of the population, there can also be a certain population protection in the sense of a vaccine-based herd immunity,” said Wendtner.
Wendtner added that it was not clear whether the viruses detected in the infected but vaccinated people were contagious, or if they were dead shells. More research into the matter was needed, he said.