A pre-print study by C.B. Acharya et al titled “No Significant Difference in Viral Load Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated, Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Groups When Infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant” found pretty much what the title states.
The study included a total of 869 positive samples from California, 500 from HYT and 369 from UeS. (See the paper for details regarding these two subgroups.)
For HYT, 375 were unvaccinated and 125 were fully vaccinated. For UeS, 198 were unvaccinated and 171 were fully vaccinated. Individuals who only received one dose or were tested within two weeks of their second dose were not included in the study.
Here’s the interesting bit:
There were no statistically significant differences in mean Ct-values of vaccinated (UeS: 23.1; HYT: 25.5) vs. unvaccinated (UeS: 23.4; HYT: 25.4) samples. In both vaccinated and unvaccinated, there was great variation among individuals, with Ct-values of <15 to >30 in both UeS and HYT data (Fig. 1A, 1B). Similarly, no statistically significant differences were found in the mean Ct-values of asymptomatic (UeS: 24.3; HYT: 25.4) vs. symptomatic (UeS: 22.7) samples, overall or stratified by vaccine status (Fig. 1B). Similar Ct-values were also found among different age groups, between genders, and vaccine types (Supplemental Figure 1).
In other words, even though the vaccine may prevent infection in at least the short term as indicated by the HYT group, there is no significant difference in viral load between the vaccinated and unvaccinated as the title states.
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