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Can You Catch Covid-19 If You’ve Been Vaccinated?

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A recent story, published on CNN.com, helps to provide an answer to this question.

In short, the answer is yes. This is especially true if you’re talking about the Delta variant. 

But exactly how likely you are to catch it after being vaccinated?

Well, that still seems to be up for debate. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

The Basics: Catching The Delta Variant While Vaccinated

Here’s what experts are saying in light of a new study that was published on July 30th, 2021. 

First off, the study says that the Delta Covid-19 variant produces similar amounts of virus in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they get infected. 

Here’s a quote from Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC. 

“High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus…”

Experts are also saying that vaccination does make infection less likely. But if you catch the Delta variant, you’ll still have about the same level of risk of spreading it to other people. 

The study references a recent Delta variant outbreak in Massachusetts. 

According to the study, 469 people were infected with the Delta variant. And 74% of them (346 cases) had been fully vaccinated prior to infection. 

But here’s where the viral load information comes in. 

Researchers found that viral loads amongst some of the tested vaccinated people infected with Delta variant were about the same as the viral loads found in those who hadn’t received the vaccine

Why Is This Alarming?

Here’s the real issue. 

Vaccination has been touted as the best tool in our arsonal to end the Covid pandemic. 

But these studies poke a few holes in that plan. 

Yes, vaccination decreases the likelihood that you’ll get infected. 

But it doesn’t eliminate the possibility. 

And in the event of infection, it seems that there’s a chance that it won’t decrease the viral load. 

Now, granted, this viral load stuff is complicated. And some say that more testing needs to be done to determine if the results mean what people are saying they mean. 

Plus, obviously, vaccinated people can still get the virus, though they’re still less likely to get it than those who are unvaccinated. 

And so, this puts us back into a situation that’s not quite as good as officials were hoping this far along. 

What’s The New Plan?

In the meantime, the CDC has unveiled new guidance, recommending that people in areas with ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ Covid-19 transmission rates should continue to wear masks indoors, even if they’ve had the vaccine. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky said this about the masking recommendation. 

“The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones.”

Nobody is quite sure how this situation will play out moving forward. 

But in the meantime, getting vaccinated is still the best option. 

According to a CDC internal document, it’s estimated that getting vaccinated actually reduces your risk of death or severe disease via Covid by 10-fold, or possibly even greater. And it reduces the odds for infection by 3-fold. 

Here’s what Dr. Rochelle Walensky had to say about vaccination in light of these new developments. 

“Getting vaccinated continues to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death — even with Delta…”

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