December 26, 2021

3 Newly Discovered Benefits of COVID-19 Vaccines

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 5 and up get vaccinated unless directed otherwise by their doctor. Boosters are recommended for everyone who has gone at least six months since their second vaccine dose.

In addition to greatly reducing the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, vaccines created—especially mRNA ones developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna—are also bringing on newly discovered benefits.

Center’s Health Care has a look at two different studies: one that found vaccinated people with breakthrough infections are less likely to spread COVID-19 to others and another reporting improved mental health results among vaccinated people.

Vaccinated Individuals Less Likely to Spread COVID-19

In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, 173 players and staff of the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with their family members, were studied via nearly 20,000 viral samples from November 2020 through August 2021. The results found that vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections stopped producing the virus two days sooner than unvaccinated individuals.

Those who had been vaccinated stopped shedding the virus after 5.5 days, meaning they were no longer contagious at that point. Unvaccinated participants in this study, meanwhile, stopped shedding the virus after 7.5 days.

Researchers say this was a perfect group to study because the NBA was conducting daily (or every-other-day) tests on players and staff. Because of this, they were able to track infections from the early stages—most times before symptoms even developed and in asymptomatic cases as well.

Vaccinated People Reported Improvement in Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

Researchers from the University of Southern California estimated through government statistics that COVID-19 vaccinations brought on about a 30% reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms. Relief of anxiety symptoms seems to be linked to less fear about getting sick or infecting others—especially older or more vulnerable family members. The reduction of depression symptoms is related to feeling more comfortable to go out and be in more social situations after becoming vaccinated.

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