CDC Data Suggests People Vaccinated Against COVID Can't Spread It

By Jason Hall

April 2, 2021

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests individuals who are fully vaccinated do not transmit the virus to others.

During an appearance on MSNBC's 'The Rachel Maddow Show' on Tuesday (March 30), CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky suggested vaccinated people may not be at much risk for transmitting the coronavirus, which was initially a major concern, based on the study's results.

“Vaccinated people do not carry the virus — they don’t get sick,” Dr. Walensky said. That’s “not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real-world data.”

Researchers studied nearly 4,000 healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers who were inoculated with vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer in eight U.S. locations against the virus and more-contagious variants, New York Magazine reports. The participants' risk of infection was reduced by 80% after the first dose of either vaccine and increased to 90% after the second dose.

As the participants were not infected, they were unable to spread the virus to others. The study results were similar to what scientists found in clinical trials of the vaccines, which confirmed two doses of either vaccine had an efficacy rate of around 95%.

This is the first study conducted by the CDC to see how well the vaccines worked among working-age front-line adults, who are at a greater risk of being exposed to the virus and spreading it than the elderly, which is considered to be the most vulnerable age group and, therefore, received the vaccine first.

“There cannot be any daylight between what the research shows — really impressive but incomplete protection — and how it is described,” Dr. Peter Bach, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,told the New York Times on Thursday (April 1.) “This opens the door to the skeptics who think the government is sugarcoating the science and completely undermines any remaining argument why people should keep wearing masks after being vaccinated.”

The CDC also limited Dr. Walensky's claims about vaccinated individuals being unable to spread the virus.

“Dr. Walensky spoke broadly during this interview,” a CDC spokesperson told the Times. “It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get COVID-19. The evidence isn’t clear whether they can spread the virus to others. We are continuing to evaluate the evidence.”

As of Friday (April 2), more than 153 million total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and more than 200 million have been delivered, according to CDC data.

A third vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson is a single-dose shot that is shown to be 66% effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19-related illness.

Photo: Getty Images

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