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Evidence has yet to prove vaccines stop the spread of COVID-19

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PHOENIX – Most vaccines do not fully protect against infection. As a result, vaccinated people can unknowingly carry and spread germs.

Following the record-breaking speed of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials, there has yet to be any evidence that shows the vaccines can completely stop people from being infected.

“What we’re trying to research right now is to see how much immunity and antibodies do these vaccines actually produce and how long does it last and whether or not that’s enough to stop the spread,” Dr. Shad Marvasti, associate professor and director at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

The evidence has led health professionals to believe people who have been vaccinated could still potentially get the virus and spread it. Marvasti said germs can hide out in the nose or the back of the throat and can infect others via sneezing, coughing, kissing or sharing utensils.

“So, you would never actually get sick as a vaccinated person, but you could technically give it to other people and technically be infected again without any symptoms,” Marvasti said.

Those technicalities are brought to question because the strength and longevity of the antibodies within the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still unknown.

Recent news from AstraZeneca reported their vaccine shot may not only protect against the disease but also help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The study, however, has yet to be peer-reviewed.

Although there are questions that remain unanswered, it is known the vaccines decrease the risk of serious hospitalization and death from serve illness with COVID-19 related infections.

While studies continue regarding the efficacy of the vaccine’s impact on transmission, public health officials have reiterated the importance of both masks and social distancing.

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