Vaccines reduce about 40% COVID-19 transmission: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that the COVID-19 vaccines reduce transmission of the dominant Delta variant by about 40%, busting the "false sense of security" among the vaccinated, who no longer take precautions to avoid spreading the virus.

The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said many vaccinated people were wrongly thinking the jab meant they no longer needed to take any other precautions.

Fully-immunized people must stick with measures to avoid catching the virus and passing it on, Tedros insisted, spelling out how the more contagious Delta meant the vaccines were not as effective against transmission.

"We're concerned about the false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic and people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions," Tedros told reporters. "Vaccines save lives but they do not fully prevent transmission."

"Data suggests that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60%. With Delta, it has dropped to about 40%."

The more transmissible Delta variant is now overwhelmingly dominant worldwide, having all but outcompeted other strains.

"If you are vaccinated, you have a much lower risk of severe disease and death, but you are still at risk of being infected and infecting others," said Tedros.

"We cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and infecting someone else who could die."

That meant wearing a facemask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside or only in a well-ventilated indoor space, he said.


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