The Delta variant of the coronavirus can spread easily between inoculated individuals within their homes, a British study revealed on Thursday.
However, they have a lesser chance of getting infected because of their vaccinations.
The year-long study by the Imperial College London found that the Delta variant can be transmitted even in inoculated populations. Despite this find, researchers highlighted that this study does not diminish the importance of getting vaccinated, which remains the best protection against serious coronavirus infections.
The researchers studied 621 participants with Delta COVID-19 infections and found that while the peak viral load remained the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the infections cleared swiftly in inoculated people.
The co-lead author of the study, Dr. Anika Singanayagam, said,
By carrying out repeated and frequent sampling from contacts of COVID-19 cases, we found that vaccinated people can contract and pass on the infection within households, including vaccinated household members. Our findings provide important insights into… why the Delta variant is continuing to cause high COVID-19 case numbers around the world, even in countries with high vaccination rates.
The findings also showed that 25 percent of the vaccinated household contacts contracted the virus, while 38 percent of the unvaccinated household contacts also contracted the virus.
Imperial epidemiologist Neil Ferguson opined that based on the way the Delta variant is spreading, there is unlikely that Britain will reach “herd immunity” soon.
“That may happen in the next few weeks: if the epidemic’s current transmission peaks and then starts declining, we have by definition in some sense reached herd immunity, but it is not going to be a permanent thing,” he said.
“Immunity wanes over time, it is imperfect, so you still get transmission happening, and that is why the booster program is so important,” he added.