Does vaccination completely prevent infection?
According to answers given by Deborah Fuller, a microbiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine working on coronavirus vaccines, you can still get infected after you’ve been vaccinated.
So what’s the good news?
The good news is that your chances of getting seriously ill are almost zero. In other words, while vaccination may not protect you from infection, it protects you from the disease.
Our immune system is not all the same. It is highly variable. Some have a stronger immune system, some weaker.
When we say that a vaccine is 95% effective, it means that 95% of people who receive the vaccine will not fall sick. These people could be completely protected from the virus, or they could be infected but remain asymptomatic because the virus is quickly eliminated from their body.
The other 5% of people who receive the vaccine can get infected and fall sick but they are extremely unlikely to become very sick or be hospitalised.
A dry run
Think of vaccination as a dry run for your immune system to build its defences. While it may not guarantee that you will not become infected, the vaccine does give your immune system a huge leg-up in fighting the coronavirus. Our immune systems are designed to remember. Once exposed to the vaccine, it builds up a defence system that it remembers, and is quickly activated when the real enemy is encountered.
Can a vaccinated person still transmit the virus?
In theory, anyone who is infected with the COVID-19 virus can potentially transmit the virus. In the case of an infected person who has been vaccinated, the chances of him transmitting the virus are reduced.
In a study (not peer reviewed yet), Israeli researchers tested 2,897 vaccinated people for signs of coronavirus infection. Most had no detectable virus. For those vaccinated people who became infected, they had one-quarter the amount of virus in their bodies as unvaccinated people tested at similar times post-infection.
A vaccinated person who becomes infected therefore has a significantly reduced amount of the virus. Coupled with the fact that the time for shedding the virus through his nose and mouth will be shortened due to the virus being quickly eliminated from his body, he is less likely to transmit the virus.