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Fully vaccinated three times less likely to be infected with COVID-19: UK study

August 05, 2021
A new study in the United Kingdom has found that double vaccinated people are three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for coronavirus. — Courtesy file photo
A new study in the United Kingdom has found that double vaccinated people are three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for coronavirus. — Courtesy file photo

LONDON — A new study in the United Kingdom has found that double vaccinated people are three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for coronavirus.

The results from the Imperial-led REACT-1 study, a major coronavirus monitoring program in the UK, are based on swab tests taken by almost 100,000 people in England between June 24 and July 12.

During this period, 0.63 percent of people were infected, or 1 in 158. This represents a 4-fold rise compared with the study’s previous report, when 0.15 percent or 1 in 670 had the virus as of June 7.

The number of infections was similar to early October 2020 and late January 2021, doubling every 25 days with an R number of 1.19. The R number was lower than the previous round (1.44) and the study’s interim report published on 8 July (1.87), which looked at the first 47,000 swabs taken for this round of testing. This suggests that the rate of growth slowed at the end of the study period.

The study’s analyses of PCR test results also suggest that fully vaccinated people may be less likely than unvaccinated people to pass the virus on to others, due to having a smaller viral load on average and therefore likely shedding less virus.

Commenting on the findings of the new study, UK Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Our vaccination rollout is building a wall of defense that means we can carefully ease restrictions and get back to the things we love, but we need to be cautious as we learn to live with this virus."

"Today’s report shows the importance of taking personal responsibility by self-isolating if you are contact traced, getting tested if you have symptoms and wearing face coverings where appropriate."

"I urge anyone who has yet to receive a vaccine to get jabbed and take up both doses — the vaccines are safe and they are working," the UK health secretary added.

Meanwhile, Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT program from Imperial’s School of Public Health, said: “These findings confirm our previous data showing that both doses of a vaccine offer good protection against getting infected. However we can also see that there is still a risk of infection, as no vaccine is 100 percent effective, and we know that some double-vaccinated people can still become ill from the virus.

“So even with the easing of restrictions, we should still act with caution to help protect one another and curb the rate of infections.” — Agencies


August 05, 2021
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