“Vaccinated people do not carry the virus — they don’t get sick,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday. That’s “not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real-world data.”
Walensky was referring to a new CDC study that suggests those fully inoculated with the vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer don’t transmit the virus. Researchers looked at how the shots protected nearly 4,000 health-care workers, first responders, and other essential workers toiling in eight U.S. locations against the virus and more-contagious variants.
Following a single dose of either vaccine, the participants’ risk of infection was reduced by 80 percent, and that figure jumped to 90 percent after the second dose. Without infection, people are unable to spread the virus.
The study is the agency’s first to analyze how well the vaccines worked among working-age front-line adults, who are at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus and spreading it. “These findings should offer hope to the millions of Americans receiving COVID-19 vaccines each day and to those who will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated in the weeks ahead,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said in a statement. Still, the CDC has not issued new guidance on how the vaccinated should behave; its current guidance is that they continue to take precautions such as masking.
More than 142 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been administered in the U.S. as of March 30, according to the CDC.