Early studies suggest vaccines may reduce COVID transmission

DETROIT – The Biden Administration announced Wednesday it will provide $650 million to expand testing for schools and underserved populations and an additional $815 million for the manufacturing of testing supplies.

That’s on top of the nearly $200 million for virus genome sequencing, which is critical for tracking new variants of the virus.

Health experts are wondering if a vaccinated person becomes infected, do they have the capability of transmitting the infection?

Dr. Anthony Fauci said there are two studies that are pointing in a favorable direcion.

One study, from Spain, looked at 282 clusters of infections. If found higher amounts of the virus in the nose was linked to a greater ability to spread the virus.

“There was a direct correlation with the viral load and the efficiency of transmission, very much the same as what we’ve seen in diseases like HIV, only now it’s in the nasal pharynx,” Fauci said. “In other words, higher viral load, good transmissibility; low viral load, very poor transmissibility.”

So people who are fully vaccinated have less virus in their nose. Even if they do get infected? A pre-print study from Israel suggests it’s possible.

“When you follow breakthrough infections in the individuals in Israel who had been vaccinated, compared to infections and individuals who are not, there was a markedly diminished viral load in those individuals who were vaccinated but had a breakthrough infection, compared to individuals who were not,” Fauci said.

He cautioned that both of these studies’ findings need to be confirmed by other studies, but the data suggests vaccination may have an impact on transmission, which makes it all the more important to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“When your turn to get vaccinated comes up, get vaccinated,” Fauci said. “It’s not only good for you and your family and your community, it will have a very important impact on the dynamics of the outbreak in our country.”

Related: 6 ways Michigan residents can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine

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