United Kingdom

Vaccinated people could become Covid-19 super-spreaders by believing they can't transmit virus

People who receive the Covid-19 jab may become the next super-spreaders because they could believe they are safe from transmitting the virus. 

Harvard University public health student Rushabh Doshi made the warning on KevinMD - a platform founded by Dr Kevin Pho for medical professionals to share their insight.

Mr Doshi explained that little is known about whether vaccinated people can still spread coronavirus and how much immunity the jab gives them.

'The Covid-19 vaccinations prevent disease, but we know little about if it prevents reinfection and further viral transmission,' he wrote. 

People who receive the Covid-19 jab may become the next super-spreaders because they could believe they are safe from transmitting the virus. Pictured: Principal Pharmacist, Syed Anas Gilani vaccinates Principal Pharmacist, Davinder Manku in Dudley, England on January 25

'In fact, vaccinated populations that act under the assumption that they are immune and therefore cannot spread the virus may prove to be the next super-spreaders.' 

Mr Doshi said vaccinated members of the public who fail to understand they may still be carriers of the virus 'pose an immediate threat to the unvaccinated'.

He said this is important to note due to a 'slower than expected vaccination rollout to the general public'.

The Australian Government aims to have as many people vaccinated as possible in 2021 - but the rollout will staged. 

Residents at the front of the line for the jab include quarantine and border workers, frontline health care workers, aged care and disability care staff and aged care and disability care residents.  

Mr Doshi urged health authorities to educate the public about the vaccines and how they are expected to work.

'As the population begins to receive the vaccination, scientists fear that social distancing measures and mask-wearing behavior will ease up,' he wrote.   

'We must carefully educate a population dealing with serious virus fatigue and malaise that although receiving the vaccinations seems to prevent serious illness, we are unsure if they significantly reduce community transmission of the virus.' 

Harvard University public health student Rushabh Doshi explained that little is known about whether vaccinated people can still spread coronavirus

Australians were warned coronavirus vaccines will not automatically trigger big changes to restrictions when the rollout ramps up in coming months.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd tempered expectations that jabs will lead to life returning to pre-pandemic settings after the Pfizer vaccine was approved for use in Australia.

The two major unknowns are whether coronavirus vaccines prevent transmission of the virus and if booster shots will be needed each year, similar to the flu.

'That just reinforces for us how important it's going to be - even though we might get the vaccine rolling out across Australia - that people still adhere to the public health measures,' Professor Kidd told ABC radio on Tuesday.

Social distancing, hygiene measures and other rules, as well as international travel restrictions, are likely to remain throughout the year.

Australia has enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which recorded a 95 per cent efficacy rate in late-stage trials, for about five million people.

Aged care and disability residents will be among the first to receive it with the program set to start in late February, two weeks after the first 80,000 doses are due to arrive.

Workers in quarantine, borders, frontline healthcare, and residential aged care and disability are also in the first phase.

The bulk of Australians are likely to receive the AstraZeneca jab, which has a lower efficacy rate of around 70 per cent, but could be up to 95 per cent after the second shot.

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