It is the big question of the second chapter of the pandemic. The one that people who are already vaccinated and wait for someone to confirm that for them are beginning to write all problems are over.
But unfortunately the end of this story of the coronavirus is not that simple. At least for now.
We have just reconfirmed it after the director of the American CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), always so reliable, has made a claim that many scientists have run to disprove.
The Dra. Rochelle P. Walensky hinted that people vaccinated against the coronavirus will never be infected anymore, that they are not carriers of the virus and, consequently, they also cannot transmit the virus to other people.
He did so in an interview on the United States’ highest-rated subscription television channel, MSNBC, while commenting on the Extraordinary Vaccine Data from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. Data that a single dose is 80 percent effective in preventing infection, and two doses are 90 percent effective.
But from there to the conclusion that the doctor left on the air goes a world.
Science does not yet know if a vaccinated person can infect
A claim that provoked the rapid response of the scientific world, which he thought could be interpreted as that vaccines offer complete protection against both infection and transmission. When no one really knows for sure.
Thus, for example, the prestigious director of the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh, Paul Duprex, clarified that the data suggests that “it is much more difficult for a vaccinated person to become infected, but don’t think for a second that you can’t get infected«.
Another leading scientist and virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, John Moore, said that “if Dr. Walensky had said that most vaccinated people do not carry the virus, we would not be having this discussion. Because what we certainly know, and there is growing data on this, is that vaccines are substantially effective against infection, but nothing is 100 percent safe«.
Precautions also after the vaccine
And that percentage of doubt, no matter how small, in a situation as complex as the current one and with such risky consequences “It is a very important public health message that we need to be understood correctly.”
The scientists insisted that current research is still far from having sufficient evidence to say that vaccinated people cannot spread the virus. And that is why they consider it essential that they continue to take precautions.
Hence the importance of these reactions that have forced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its acronym in English) to publicly retract the comments made by its director.
Since that time, numerous prestigious scientists have insisted that all coronavirus vaccines are demonstrating spectacular success in preventing severe illness and death from Covid-19, but it is not so clear how well they prevent infection. Because clinical trials of vaccines were designed solely for that purpose.
It is true that the research published by the CDC, and that motivated this controversy, opens a door to optimism, but only that.
The study of controversy
This is a study that had the collaboration of 3,950 health workers or personnel at high risk infection, and in which two weeks after vaccination it was found that the vast majority of those vaccinated were still virus-free.
But from there you cannot draw more conclusions or change lifestyles.
Furthermore, Dr. Duprex himself said that
That is why they are so concerned that many vaccinated may think they no longer need to wear masks nor maintain precautionary measures.
That is why it is especially important that immunized people continue to protect those who have not yet been immunized against the virusexperts said.
Finally, scientists once again insist on a unanimous call for everyone to get vaccinated. And do it regardless of the vaccine that has fallen to you. Because whatever their efficacy ratio, “they all really prevent the development of the disease in its serious version, and death.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.