WITH three Covid vaccines approved for use, the Government is ramping up the UK’s jab roll out.
A woman has a coronavirus jab at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at Millennium Point in Birmingham[/caption]
But it’s still unclear whether those who have a good level of protection against the bug are still able to spread it to loved ones.
Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing on Monday, he said: “We know that the vaccine reduces your chances of getting Covid and then being hospitalised or dying of Covid. We know it gives you that protection.
“What we don’t yet know – and are following very closely – is how much you might transmit Covid even if you don’t suffer from the disease, after you’ve had the vaccine.
Mr Hancock said that the Government was working on publishing a full paper on the findings in due course.
A Government spokesperson said: “We do not yet know whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus, but we do expect it to reduce this risk.
“So, it is still important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.
Experts say that none of the UK’s three approved vaccines – Pfizer, Oxford or Moderna, have been shown to reduce the spread of the virus in the population.
Scientists behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab are continuing to assess whether their vaccine can protect against transmission.
They are yet to publish complete results, but participants were routinely tested for Covid during their trials to track whether someone became infected but didn’t develop symptoms.
Early results suggested that the vaccine may have reduced frequency of infections, which would suggest transmission might also decrease.
Pfizer has said that its scientists are looking at ways to assess virus transmission in future studies.
Professor Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told Sky News: “The Oxford vaccine took samples from people so they’ve been able to look at asymptomatic cases, so we are fairly confident that they will at least reduce transmission once they are effective.
“They will start to have some efficacy 14 days after the first jab so will probably reduce transmission, but not totally prevent it before you have your second jab.
“Pfizer didn’t do any tests but you can be fairly sure they will prevent asymptomatic cases and transmission.”
In the meantime, experts warn that without knowing for sure, people who have been vaccinated could still transmit the infection to others who remain vulnerable.
Some 78,005 first doses have been given in Northern Ireland, on top of the 1,959,151 in England, 86,039 in Wales and 163,377 in Scotland – to give a UK total of 2,286,572.
Most read in Health News
Don Jr mocks Gov. Cuomo’s calls to reopen – months after Trump did
OUT OF OFFICE
Mystery as official site says Trump’s term ‘ENDED’ today in possible ‘hack’
So far, 388,677 second doses have also been given.