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Why fully vaccinated people may be more contagious than you think

A new study suggests fully vaccinated people carry as much of the coronavirus as unvaccinated people

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McKinnah Anderson, Gold Cross Ambulance paramedic, gets the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

McKinnah Anderson, a Gold Cross Ambulance paramedic, gets the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

A new study from the University of Oxford suggests vaccinated people who get the delta variant of COVID-19 can carry the same amount of the coronavirus viral particles as those who are unvaccinated.

Just a quick note — Breakthrough COVID-19 cases remain rare among fully vaccinated people, according to CDC data. So in order to spread the delta variant, fully vaccinated people would need to be infected by it — which is happening at a rare rate.

  • Experts maintain that getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 keeps you safe from COVID-19 infections, according to experts.

The researchers in this study said vaccinated people infected with the delta variant could pose significant risks to unvaccinated people because they would be spreading the virus in heavy amounts to the unvaccinated, according to CBS News.

  • “With delta, infections occurring following two vaccinations had similar peak viral burden to those in unvaccinated individuals,” the study said, per CBS News.

CDC worries over viral load in vaccinated people

At the end of July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus wear face masks again due to some fears that fully vaccinated people could spread the delta variant as quickly as unvaccinated people, assuming they are infected with COVID-19 (again, a rare circumstance, according to CDC data).

  • Specifically, the CDC said it had data that showed fully vaccinated people had the same viral load as unvaccinated people.
  • So, fully vaccinated people could be as contagious with the coronavirus as unvaccinated people, as I wrote for the Deseret News.