Covid-19: why vaccines certainly limit contagiousness

DECRYPTION – If one is protected from the disease, the risk of transmitting the virus is necessarily lower. Without being completely zero. Explanations.

Scientists quickly understood at the start of the epidemic that it was possible to be infected with the Covid virus and transmit it without becoming ill. The proportion of these “asymptomatic” contaminations has never been clearly established, however. At the most, we can think that they are not negligible. The issue is now resurfacing in disguised form with the arrival of vaccines. “Most vaccines protect against disease but do not induce sterilizing immunity (i.e. they do not block infection)“, Explains Marie-Paule Kieny, vaccinologist and director of research at Inserm. “This is particularly the case with vaccines against respiratory diseases.”

In other words, if the vaccine protects against a “deep” infection, the virus can eventually travel to the upper respiratory tract and be transmitted, without causing any symptoms other than a mild cold. As an individual, therefore, caution remains in order:

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