For the first time, X-ray images have shed light on how getting vaccinated against coronavirus can help protect the lungs.
Doctors have published photos of people who've been tested positive for Covid, both with and without getting the vaccine.
Patients who had been vaccinated had much clearer lungs than those who hadn't, where the lungs looked cloudier.
The white on the unvaccinated patient's X-ray indicates the damage done by Covid, and could be bacteria, mucus, or other secretions, Dr Ghassan Kamel, ICU director at the Saint Louis University Hospital in Missouri, told St Louis TV station KSDK.
In comparison, the vaccinated patient has more black areas in their lungs, which shows healthier-looking lungs filled with air.
Someone with lungs as badly infected as the patient who'd not been vaccinated would probably need significant medical care, Kamel warned. He said:
"They definitely at least would require oxygen and sometimes they would require more than just oxygen. They might require the ventilator or get intubated on mechanical ventilation, sedated, and basically on life support."
Kamel said he is seeing "very sick" patients now, and they're mostly younger than they were in previous waves over the last 15 months.
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The images support the scientific consensus that vaccines provide significant protection against Covid-19 infection, and when people do catch it, the virus is likely to be milder and not require hospital treatment.
Those who do require hospital treatment are less likely to need intensive care. However, scientists say getting the vaccine doesn't prevent a person spreading the virus to other people.
Almost 89% of adults have had their first dose of the vaccine in the UK, and 73% have had the second, according to the latest official data.
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