clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Can fully vaccinated people spread the delta variant?

An expert suggests that fully vaccinated people may be contributing to the spread of the delta variant

Syringes and stickers are pictured during a vaccination event in Utah.
Syringes and stickers are pictured during a vaccination event at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

The delta variant of the novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, and fully vaccinated people may be a part of the problem.

Do fully vaccinated people spread the delta variant?

Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, recently told Insider there’s a high likelihood all the data about COVID-19 tests may not be including vaccinated people, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked to not test vaccinated people unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.

  • “That could only be occurring if they’re transmitting amongst each other,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Murray told Insider that the spread has been caused “due to the delta variant and the fact that everybody’s stopped wearing a mask and just basically stopped most precautions.”

“You cannot explain the explosive epidemic in Scotland, in a pretty highly vaccinated population, if they’re not playing a role in transmission,” Murray said, according to Insider.

But Murray said wearing masks again can stop the spread.

  • “In our models, we see that even modest mask use combined with vaccination can really put the brakes on even the delta variant,” Murray said.

Are fully vaccinated people protected from variants?

Yes. Even though fully vaccinated people could be spreading the variant between others, those same vaccinated people remain safe from variants, experts said.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told NBC News that the vaccine offers strong protection.

  • “If you’re vaccinated, you have a very high degree of protection from all of the variants that we are aware of circulating in the United States,” she said.

Walensky told NBC News that people living in high-COVID-19 areas “should consider whether the policy should be to mask.”

  • Wearing a mask, she said, is “more about protecting the two-thirds of the community that are not vaccinated.”