Earlier this week I noticed that some anti-vax propagandists have a new line of attack – they aren’t denying that vaccination protects you against severe illness from Covid, but they are saying that it is false to claim that vaccination limits the spread of the disease and hence its also wrong to insist that people should be vaccinated to protect others.
I think its important to state that thete is no credible evidence to support this claim. Indeed I want present here a summary of a paper (a preprint, so not peer-reviewed I fully accept) the findings of which, if confirmed, show very clearly that vaccination has a significant impact in stopping the spread of the disease.
It’s not really in dispute that vaccination was highly effective at stopping the spread of earlier variuants, but there has been a question mark over whether that still applied to the Omicron variant. Omicron appears to be, at least in part, a genetic adaption by the virus to evade vaccination effects so it might also have evaded any rediuction in transmission.
The paper suggests:
- A 21% reduction in transmission if an infected person has already had Covid before getting it a second time.
- A 24% reduction in transmission if an infected person hasn’t had Covid before but has had one vaccination shot.
- A further 12% reducation in transmission for each additional shot (up to three shots) – ie a 48% reduction in transmission if an infected person has three shots.
This is all good and important news and actually ought to make governments (such as the UK’s) widen the offer of booster shots and not restrict them to a limited group.
The UK is currently seeing a sugnificant reduction in its workforce because of illness, widening the offer of booster shots could go some way to fixing that problem.