Study finds COVID-19 vaccine may reduce virus transmission

(AP) – A new study may help answer one of the big open questions about the campaign to suppress the coronavirus outbreak.

Researchers from Oxford University say AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine does more than protect people from falling seriously ill — it also appears to reduce transmission of the virus.

The study released on Wednesday also suggested that a single dose of the AstraZeneca formula provides a high level of protection for 12 weeks, which could vindicate the British government’s controversial strategy of delaying the second shot so that more people can be quickly given a first dose.

Up to now, the recommended time between the first and second dose has been four weeks.

In the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, dismissed the idea of deliberately delaying second shots, saying the U.S. will “go by the science” and data from the clinical trials.

The two doses of the Pifzer and Moderna vaccines are supposed to be given three and four weeks apart.

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