A new Lancet study about the transmission of Covid-19 among the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated is raising questions for some about vaccine mandates.
The study on “Community transmission and viral load kinetics” of the Delta variant in both the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the UK found the former were just as likely as the latter to spread Covid-19 among those in their household.
The vaccinated also had a similar viral load as the unvaccinated.
“Although vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths from COVID-19, our findings suggest that vaccination is not sufficient to prevent transmission of the delta variant in household settings with prolonged exposures,” noted the paper, which studied 621 symptomatic participants over a year. Significantly, the research found the vaccine was much more effective at reducing transmission of the alpha variant in a household, rather than the delta variant.
For some, the findings raise serious questions about vaccine mandates and lockdown efforts that governments around the world have pursued in an effort to contain the pandemic.
The researchers also noted booster shots and increasing the rate of vaccination among younger populations will help but the focus ought to remain on those most vulnerable.
“Increasing population immunity via booster programmes and vaccination of teenagers will help to increase the currently limited effect of vaccination on transmission, but our analysis suggests that direct protection of individuals at risk of severe outcomes, via vaccination and non-pharmacological interventions, will remain central to containing the burden of disease caused by the delta variant,” the researchers wrote.