Vaccinated people can still yield high COVID-19 transmissions, according to a new study that examined the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in a federal prison in Texas were most inmates were vaccinated.
Delta Transmissions In Prison
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report Tuesday on a study about the COVID-19 outbreak among incarcerated individuals in a Texas federal prison. According to the team behind the study, they found that the transmission rates among the people in jail were high, and it was mostly because of the delta variant.
The incarcerated population reportedly experienced “disproportionately higher rates” of infections even though 185 of the 233 or 79% of the inmates were fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. About 74% or 172 inmates contracted the virus, as indicated in the study. Among the 42 unvaccinated, 39 were hit by the delta variant. On the other hand, 129 out of the 185 fully vaccinated individuals got infected.
Implications Of The New Study
The CDC noted that even though more vaccinated inmates were affected by the outbreak compared to the unvaccinated, the “duration of positive serial test results was similar for both groups.” The public health agency also pointed out that among the four people who were hospitalized, three were unvaccinated, and the one reported fatality throughout the course of the study was also unvaccinated.
After analyzing the data, the CDC said that the findings suggest the potential for delta variant outbreaks in communal settings, including correctional facilities, even if most people in these places have been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. It also reinforces the agency’s call to wear masks and practice physical distancing in public indoor settings even after getting vaccinated, according to CNBC.
A Similar Outbreak
The reported outbreak in the unnamed federal prison echoes a similar incident in Provincetown, Massachusetts in July. The small town at the northern tip of Cape Cod is known for hosting a huge Fourth of July celebration annually, and this year was no different despite the ongoing pandemic.
As a result of the town’s long lineup of parties and festivities, a total of 934 people contracted COVID-19. About three-quarters of the cases were fully vaccinated individuals, as per KSLA News 12. The sudden outbreak forced local officials to issue a public health advisory that quickly escalated into a town-wide public health mandate.