• January 28, 2023

COVID vaccines reduce transmission, but still wear a mask, experts say

When the COVID-19 vaccinations began, U.S. health officials encouraged vaccinated Americans to continue wearing masks in public as scientists still weren’t sure if they could wear the virus that causes the disease after vaccination.

Recent results from real-world studies show that the COVID-19 vaccines protect against asymptomatic infections, suggesting that they also drastically reduce virus transmission.

However, health experts continue to recommend wearing masks in public regardless of vaccination status, as more research is needed to confirm whether and how people who have been vaccinated can spread the virusVariants are becoming more common in the US and states are seeing spikes.

That nuanced News is understandably confusing, especially for pandemic-weary Americans eager to get back to normal. As hopeful news continues to emerge, health experts are urging people to stay vigilant for a while longer.

“Because vaccinations drastically reduce transmission, the CDC will eventually release new ones (Masking) recommendations for vaccinated people“Said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.” But it won’t happen until summer at the earliest, and all of this depends on whether the B.1.1.7 variant (first identified in the UK) is brought under control and the vaccination rate is increased. “

Preliminary information from Israel found that people who received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine did not develop COVID-19 symptoms or transmit the disease. According to a Pfizer statement released on March 11.

“It looks like asymptomatic transmission will be reduced by 90%. That’s really good, ”said Hotez when the data was made available. In practice, this means that the vaccine can enable people to produce antibodies that lower the levels of the virus in the nose and mouth and reduce the likelihood of infection.

Indoor Small Group Guidelines:Vaccinated Americans can congregate inside without masks or social distancing under certain circumstances, the CDC guidelines state

In a report published on MondayThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines were 90% effective against SARS-CoV-2 infections, including asymptomatic infections.

Pfizer also released the study results on Wednesday The detection of the mRNA vaccine with the German partner BioNTech was still more than 90% effective six months after receiving a second dose, even against variant B.1.351, which was first identified in South Africa.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, was optimistic during a White House briefing on Friday, but added more data to confirm the vaccines’ effectiveness on variants.

“So the message is that vaccines work very well in practice,” he said. “Very, very good reason for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to you.”

While these studies show promise in ending the pandemic, health experts say it is too early for the nation to drop masksand back to normal.

Scientists are specifically concerned with howVaccines pile up against virus variants that contain the E484K geneDr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and an infectious disease specialist at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital.

Variants that contain this mutation include the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa, the P.1 variant identified in Brazil, and the B.1.526 variant. This could fuel New York’s surge in coronavirus cases.

“They have an advantage, are more contagious, and resist immunity to some degree,” Offit said.

Research has shown that non-mRNA vaccines developed by two manufacturers – Johnson & Johnson and Novavax – were still effective, but less effective against the B.1.351 variant compared to the original coronavirus strain

In a clinical trial in South Africa, the Novavax vaccine prevented 60% of the mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 cases caused by the variant, compared to more than 95% of the cases caused by the original strain of the virus. According to a company statement released in January.

And while vaccine transmission can be greatly reduced, the chances of the virus spreading aren’t zero, said Michael Mina, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

People should continue to wear their masks diligently, regardless of vaccination status, until cases are low.

“We went through hell to get to where we are today and the last thing we want to do is keep going through hell,” Mina said. “Wearing masks is still pretty easy … unless you’re in a small space and everyone gets vaccinated. I would say you should be on guard a little longer.”

Featuring: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.

U.S. TODAY health and patient safety coverage is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide any editorial contributions.

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