Fully-vaccinated people who catch Covid really may be just as infectious as the un-jabbed, official data suggested today.

Public Health England say viral loads appear similar among people infected with the Delta variant in both groups, meaning, theoretically, they are equally contagious.

But health chiefs insisted the current crop of vaccines still cut the risk of catching the virus in the first place.

And the jabs – repeatedly proven to be life-savers – have kept tens of thousands out of hospital since they were first rolled out last December, Government statistics also show.

The PHE viral load data follows a huge row in the US, which saw health chiefs make a similar claim.

It prompted fury because the data – which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used to justify recommending vaccinated Americans wear masks again – wasn’t published until days later.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally released the data that was behind its recent backtrack on mask recommendations for vaccinated Americans to wear masks in indoor places in COVID-19 hot spots.

In a report published on Friday, the federal health agency detailed a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, linked to the spread of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.

Researchers found nearly three-quarters of the infections occurred in people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with either of three shots approved in the U.S. for emergency use.

What’s more, tests showed that immunized people carried about the same viral levels in their noses and throats as unvaccinated people did.