“Immunization status: Completed.“This is what your vaccination certificate indicates after two doses of anti-covid vaccine. But in concrete terms, what does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
Is there still a risk of being contaminated?
Unfortunately yes, because no vaccine is 100% effective against the coronavirus. Even vaccinated, you can therefore catch the covid. But this risk is very low, according to the first data obtained in real conditions.
This is particularly what showed at the end of May a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study (CDC). According to these health authorities, only 0.01% of the 101 million people fully vaccinated against covid between January and April 2021 in the United States were subsequently infected with the virus.
But beware: the study only counts symptomatic cases. The actual figure for contamination is therefore probably higher. Despite this downside, these data confirm that anti-covid vaccines are very effective.
Can we develop a severe form?
It’s unlikely. Because when a fully vaccinated person catches covid, their risk of developing a severe form of the disease is significantly reduced compared to a person who has not been vaccinated or who has only received one dose.
Thus, the messenger RNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna are nearly 95% effective against severe forms of the disease from two weeks after the second dose and the AstraZeneca adenovirus vaccine is more than 85% effective after the same. time limit.
Read also: Questions about the second injection of the Astrazeneca vaccine
Can a vaccinated person transmit the virus?
In other words, can a fully vaccinated person carry the virus and infect an unvaccinated person? Here, the answer is not clear because scientists still lack perspective.
Theoretically, vaccinated people can “harbor” viruses in their airways without developing symptoms and therefore possibly infecting other people.
But the first data on the subject are encouraging. Thus, on April 28, the British health agency Public Health England claimed in a study that a dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine already halved the risk of coronavirus transmission. The risk of infecting despite vaccination could be reduced, but persist even after two doses.
Can we drop the mask?
Since the vaccine is not fully protected, the answer is no. It is therefore necessary to continue to wear the mask in all public places, outdoors and especially indoors, where the risk of contamination is the highest.
Also continue to apply other barrier gestures such as physical distancing, regular ventilation of confined spaces and hand washing.
The obligation to wear a mask could soon be relaxed, especially outdoors, as the proportion of vaccinated people in the population increases. This is already the case in the United States, where since the end of April Americans vaccinated against covid-19 no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except when they are in crowds.
But you have to be patient before the mask becomes superfluous in all places and indoors. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization, “the epidemic will not be over until at least 70% of the world’s population are vaccinated“.
Will a third dose be needed?
The second dose is unlikely to be the last. The Pfizer laboratory has already announced it, explaining that a third dose within six to twelve months, then a booster vaccine every year may be necessary to strengthen and sustain anti-covid immunity.
This scheme would be particularly useful against new variants of the coronavirus, in the face of which anti-covid vaccines lose part of their effectiveness.
A third dose is already recommended for people who are severely immunocompromised or on immunosuppressive therapy who develop weaker immune responses.