I’m Fully Vaccinated. How Much Of A Risk Am I?

HuffPost UK reader Kathy asked: “I’ve had two doses of my Covid-19 vaccine, does this mean I’m immune?”

April will likely see record numbers receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the UK, meaning tens of thousands more people will have the best level of protection against the virus.

Once you’ve had both of your doses – and you’re deemed fully vaccinated – what happens next? How much of a risk do you pose to others? And how much risk is there of you still becoming sick with the virus?

The first thing to bear in mind is if you’ve only just had your second dose, you still aren’t fully protected. People are considered fully vaccinated two to three weeks after their second dose, as it takes time for the jab to give protection. And even then, you can still get Covid-19, but the symptoms should be less severe – you might even get it and not know it (meaning you’re asymptomatic).

The way to reduce everyone’s risk of coronavirus is to break the chains of transmission and push down the number of cases, says England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam. But we don’t yet know the impact of the vaccines on transmission of the virus. While studies suggest the vaccines can lower transmission to some degree, it’s not entirely clear by how much.

“Even after you have had both doses of the vaccine you may still give Covid to someone else and the chains of transmission will then continue,” Prof Van-Tam explained in an op-ed earlier this year.

If people go about their business like they did in pre-Covid times, it could be problematic for those who aren’t yet vaccinated, those who have only had one dose, or people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed. In the latter group, it’s thought Covid vaccination provides a lower level of protection.

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