ROCHESTER, Minn. - As officials across the world race to administer COVID-19 vaccines, experts are working to determine whether people who are fully vaccinated can still spread the virus.
Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Physician Doctor Abinash Virk says while no direct correlation proving vaccinations decrease transmission have been established, she believes researchers will ultimately confirm that is the case.
"I think it's very likely, extremely likely, that the vaccination is going to decrease transmission," Dr. Virk told KIMT.
The doctor says her assessment is based on the efficacy of vaccines preventing recipients from becoming symptomatically infected with COVID-19, as well as emerging data on positivity rates among people who have already been vaccinated.
Dr. Virk says the data, coming from at least three different studies, shows people who have been vaccinated and are asymptomatic are testing positive for COVID-19 less often than people who have not been vaccinated. The doctor says that indicates vaccines can reduce the number of people who could potentially spread the virus.
"By definition, if you have a smaller amount of people who have a positive PCR, the likelihood of transmission, because you have a smaller amount of people, is going to be lower," Dr. Virk said.
Dr. Virk adds researchers are also looking into whether people who test positive after being vaccinated carry the virus for a shorter amount of time, though there are still no clear answers on the topic.
The doctor also urges everyone to be proactive in seeking out opportunities to be vaccinated.