An independent examination conducted by MyHeritage, which operates one of Israel's largest labs for Covid-19 testing, has found a decrease in the viral load of people who had likely been vaccinated but tested positive for the virus, compared with those who had not been vaccinated.
This is data that was unclear from the clinical trials of Pfizer and Moderna, which proved that the vaccines protected those inoculated but did not draw conclusions about whether the vaccinated could nevertheless transmit the virus, while remaining immune themselves.
In a Facebook post MyHeritage CSO Dr. Yaniv Erlich explained that the tests arriving at the company's lab with only the date of the test and the age of the person tested marked. The company took two batches of 1,000 positive tests and compared their viral load. The first batch was from December 2020, when few people had been vaccinated in Israel and the second batch was from January 2021, when most over 60s in Israel had been vaccinated but few people under 60.
With the batch from December the viral load in the tests from over 60s and under 60s was very similar. In other words, it's not the viral load that causes over 60s to suffer more from Covid than younger people but underlying health issues. But with the batch from January, the viral load among the tests for over 60s was much lower, and with tests from the end of January, when many over 60s had had both doses of the vaccine, the difference was even more pronounced.
Erlich recounts that data from Israel's health funds (Health Maintenance Organizations - HMOs) and the Ministry of Health has shown that the vaccination protects against infection, although not 100%. "We know that it also reduces the level of infection among those who are nevertheless infected, and the assessment is that this happens because the viral load is less, as confirmed by this research. According to estimates less viral load also means that there is less transmission, so that those vaccinated protect those around them. Again, not fully, but partially." The data still doesn't let us how much exactly, but Erlich estimates that the load is between 50% and 95% lower than the average among unvaccinated people.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 8, 2021
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