Good news from Israel, showing that vaccination also lowers transmission of infection significantly...
Mass vaccination has the potential to curb the current COVID-19 pandemic by protecting vaccinees from the disease and possibly lowering the chance of transmission to unvaccinated individuals. The high effectiveness of the widely-administered BNT162b vaccine in preventing not only the disease but also infection suggests a potential for a population-level effect, critical for disease eradication. However, this putative effect is difficult to observe, especially in light of highly fluctuating spatio-temporal epidemic dynamics. Here, analyzing vaccination records and test results collected during a rapid vaccine rollout for a large population from 223 geographically defined communities, we find that the rates of vaccination in each community are highly correlated with a later decline in infections among a cohort of under 16 years old which are unvaccinated. These results provide observational evidence that vaccination not only protects individual vaccinees but also provides cross-protection to unvaccinated individuals in the community.