The patients who have already overcome the COVID-19 infection, regardless of the severity of the picture, generated antibodies but are not exempt from being infected again with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Having received one or two doses of the vaccine does not prevent infection, but it does ensure that the disease will be less severe and reduces the probability of hospitalization by at least 70%.
The risk of contracting COVID-19 again after vaccination varies from person to person and depends on multiple factors. A recent CDC study (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in Los Angeles showed that, Although post-vaccination infections can occur, unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
How to combat anxiety about contagion? “There are people who think that we have returned to the starting point, but we are in a much better position than at the start of the pandemic“, he claimed Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Rhode Island. Many specialists agree that, in the long term, the pandemic will end, but for that it is key to take extreme care of protocols and health care.
How much risk is there of contracting COVID-19 after vaccines? The individual risk of contracting coronavirus again after vaccination also depends on the sanitary conditions of each country, general state of health, precautionary measures and the frequency with which we are exposed to unvaccinated people who could have the virus. “People want to be told what to do: is it safe to do this, but what we can actually do is alert them to what is more or less risky“, said Sharon balter, director of the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division of the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.
The researchers studied the impact of the Delta variant and the danger to the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. They analyzed infections in 10,895 people inoculated with two doses and 30,801 people who did not receive any injection. As the report concluded, the infection rate of unvaccinated people is five times higher than that of vaccinated people. At the end of the study period, the rate of hospitalization among those vaccinated it was 1 per 100,000 people. The age-adjusted hospitalization rate among unvaccinated people was 29.4 per 100,000. The average age of vaccinated people who were hospitalized for COVID was 64 years. Among unvaccinated people who were hospitalized, the average age was 49 years.
The delta variant accounted for almost 90% of infections in Los Angeles at the time of the study, and it was observed that, although the speed of transmission of the virus increased, uninoculated people were five times more likely to be infected compared to vaccinated people.
Is a vaccinated person likely to spread COVID-19? Immunized people can transmit the virus. Although the people unvaccinated are at the highest risk contracting and spreading the coronavirus, it is also possible that those who received the two doses become infected and contagious. Despite this, many experts believe that the risk of getting infected from a vaccinated person is still relatively low.
“When we’ve seen outbreaks, like the one that occurred among the Yankees team a few months ago and other cases, people almost always have symptoms when they are spreading the virus”Jha explained. Another Singapore study looked at vaccinated and unvaccinated people who contracted the delta variant. The researchers detected viral load decreases more rapidly in those vaccinated after the first week, which suggests that vaccinated people can spread the disease for a shorter period of time.
Is it still safe to meet vaccinated people without wearing masks? The risk is lower with a small group of close family and friends than with many people outside the inner circle. The infectologists insist that outdoor meetings are safer than indoor meetings.
“The big question is whether five people can sit around a table without masks, if we know that they are all vaccinated,” said Jha.. “I think the answer is yes. The chances of someone spreading the virus in that context are extremely low. And if someone spreads the virus, other people won’t get too sick. I think that most of us should not fear serious complications, to the point of not tolerating doing the things that we really value in life. “
Can unvaccinated children go to school safely? The best way to protect the youngest is that all adults and older children around them have been vaccinated, since most children under 12 will not be vaccinated until the end of the year. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the United States, explained how an elementary school teacher who was not vaccinated, and who taught classes without a mask, spread the virus to half of the students in a classroom.
Studies show that schools have not been a major cause of COVID-spreading events, in particular when the necessary prevention measures are taken. Social distance, the use of masks and bubbles for each school year are effective.
Is a booster dose necessary against the delta variant? Although there are countries such as France and Israel that have chosen to apply third doses, WHO officials and members of the US FDA assured that, at the moment, a booster dose is not justified for the general population.
Booster doses should be reserved for the elderly with risk factors, transplant patients, people with compromised immune systems, or those with underlying diseases. Healthy people who got a two-dose vaccine are protected for now.