(NEXSTAR) – At the start of the vaccination drive in the U.S., it was altogether unknown whether the COVID-19 vaccines would prevent transmission of the virus.
But recently, thanks to a series of studies, including real-world data, we’re getting greater clarity about the potential for fully vaccinated people to spread the virus.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, says he thinks “it’s very unlikely” that vaccinated people can transmit the virus.
“The more evidence we get, it appears it’s very unlikely for a vaccinated person to transfer the virus to someone else,” he said.
The vaccines are especially effective at preventing asymptomatic disease, which Chin-Hong says is where most of the transmission appears.
Chin-Hong also cited real-world studies out of the U.K. and Israel that showed that there’s “very little transmission from vaccinated people.”
The study out of Israel, for example, found that the Pfizer vaccine was at least 97-percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease, critical disease and death.
Similarly, the study found the vaccine to be 94-percent effective at preventing asymptomatic COVID infections, suggesting the vaccine may help stop transmission of the virus.
The bottom line: If you’re fully vaccinated, the chances of you spreading COVID-19 are very low, which is yet another incentive to get one of the available vaccines.