COVID vaccines slash risk of spreading Omicron — and so does previous infection

Updated: Nov 17

While there is still a huge controversy on whether the COVID-19 vaccines really help or not, there is an interesting and potentially very important finding that the people who have been vaccinated or have had prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, not only protect themselves from getting an infection, but it also reduces the likelihood of a person infecting their close contacts.

In a not-yet peer-reviewed study conducted in US prisons, researchers found that either the vaccination or previous infection significantly reduced the likelihood of the person transmitting the virus to their close contacts, with 24% and 21% reduced likelihood of transmitting the infection if they received at least a shot or if they were infected before with the virus respectively. Furthermore, the likelihood of transmission went further down to 41% if people were both vaccinated and previously infected. Each vaccine dose reduced the risk of transmission by an additional 12%. Although the benefit of vaccines in reducing transmission does not last long, scientists think such findings are welcoming news and encourage everyone to get vaccinated, not only to protect themselves but also for protecting children, loved ones and several elderly and immunocompromised individuals in the community living with high risk factors.

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