A new real-world study conducted by the Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine can reduce the risk of transmission of the viral infection by half in a household setting.
The study is the most comprehensive research into the effects of vaccination because a household setting is considered a high-risk setting for Coronavirus transmission among family members.
According to the study, people who tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks after receiving the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines were up to 49% less likely to transmit the virus to other members of their household in comparison to unvaccinated people.
The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines started giving protection around two weeks after initial doses, offering similar levels of protection regardless of the age of the vaccinated individuals.
The initial doses of both vaccines also reduced the risk of developing a symptomatic infection by 65% within four weeks after vaccination.
During the study, PHE compared the vaccination status and household contact data of 57,000 contacts from 24,000 households in which at least one person had received the initial dose of either vaccine with nearly 1 million contacts of unvaccinated persons.
Head of Immunization at PHE, Dr. Mary Ramsay, has said that aside from decreasing the severity of the infection and preventing hundreds of deaths daily, the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are highly effective in reducing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 infection to others.
While terming the findings of the study ‘encouraging,’ Dr. Ramsay urged vaccinated people to continue practicing good hand hygiene and following social-distancing guidelines.