Three apparently effective and safe vaccines are now awaiting approval for distribution around the globe. Two of the vaccines, produced by Pfizer and Moderna, require two doses given at three-week intervals, while the AstraZeneca vaccine is a one-dose shot.
Countries are now waiting for the rollout of the vaccines, however, there is one question everyone wants to know – Will the vaccines prevent transmission of the virus to others?
All three vaccines are touted as “being highly effective” at keeping people from getting sick, but it is unknown if they will stop the transmission of the virus in vaccinated individuals.
To answer that question and others about the vaccine, NBC Dateline’s Lester Holt hosted a prime-time program – “Race for a Vaccine” in which he interviewed individuals involved in the development and distribution of the medicine.
Holt questioned Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla. When asked by Holt if he would be able to transmit the infection to other people if he is immunized, the Pfizer CEO replied that “I think this is something that needs to be examined. We are not certain about that right now with what we know,” Bourla responded.
AstraZeneca and researchers at Oxford University suggested their vaccine had shown “signs of reduced transmission, of people spreading the disease from one person to another.” It will be interesting to see if this reduced transmission thing will hold true., It may be because the AstraZeneca vaccine is made by a more traditional process that is different than the mRNA-based vaccine created by Pfizer and Moderna.
According to The Hill, challenges have cropped up with distributing and administering the vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines need to be stored at extreme sub-zero temperatures, which has heightened the demand for dry ice.
Wired.com writes that if a Covid-19 vaccine only prevents illness— it possibly might not prevent infection with the virus or transmission of it to other people. This means that a vaccinated person could still be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. The only way we will find out about post-vaccine transmission is to vaccinate people.