Jabs for all adults amid the second wave


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The Hindu English vocabulary 

  1.  Jab: the act of putting a drug
  2.  Efficacy trial: the ability of something like a drug or a medical treatment to bring about the results that are wanted

Timeline of the second wave rise in the case 

  • On April 1, the number of COVID-19 cases reported daily has been accelerating rapidly in India. On April 21, the country, for the first time, crossed the 3-lakh mark in infections reported in a day, when it saw 3,15,735 cases.
  • On April 20, as many as 2,021 deaths were reported, which further rose to 2,620 on April 23. While Maharashtra is still reporting the most number of cases daily, there has been a slight dip in the last few days.
  • It is early to say if the second wave has peaked in the State. But Mumbai and Pune, the two cities that reported the most cases in the second wave, have been consistently reporting fewer numbers for the last few days.
  • On the other hand, states such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh, which did not experience high daily cases last year, are now witnessing a surge.

Is it rare to get infected even after vaccination?

The CDC guidelines on breakthrough infections state that all such reported rates are an undercount. “It is important to note that reported vaccine breakthrough cases will represent an undercount. 

This surveillance system is passive and relies on voluntary reporting from state health departments which may not be complete. Also, not all real-world breakthrough cases will be identified because of lack of testing. 

This is particularly true in instances of asymptomatic or mild illness. These surveillance data are a snapshot and help identify patterns and look for signals among vaccine breakthrough cases,” described in the reports.

Pitfalls in the checks 

  • For nearly three months after vaccination began in India, the government’s COVID-19 test form, used by state and private laboratories, did not check if those who tested positive had been vaccinated.
  •  Dr. Samiran Panda, who heads the Epidemiology Division at the ICMR, told  that reports on breakthrough infections were collated from the Co-WIN database and were based on self-reporting. “There will no doubt be many more who may have got infected after the second dose but that is expected. It is also likely that only those with significant symptoms might report and those with mild symptoms or who are asymptomatic will not follow up. 

The message of vaccination is that it protects against disease

What are the reasons for such infections?

  • Dr. Bhargava said healthcare and frontline workers were getting infected because of their constant high exposure to COVID-19 patients. 
  •  “highly transmissible new variants”. Indian variant (B.1.617) 
  • According to the latest data, over 12.1 million healthcare and frontline workers have got a second dose, as opposed to over 9 million of those above 45 years of age. Laboratory studies for Covaxin on the ‘U.K. variant’ and the Indian variant (B.1.617) suggest that it “effectively neutralizes” the virus. 
  • However, studies on the AstraZeneca vaccine show that its efficacy is reduced when faced with the U.K. and the South African variant.
  • The CDC data show that there were 88 deaths for 87 million people who were fully inoculated with the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines — this means that one in a million will die from COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. 
  • If those figures are applied to India, it would mean around 800 deaths given our adult population of 800-900 million. 

Way forward 

Thus, while vaccines indubitably protect against death and disease, they may not be 100% protective. thus being on  the precautionary side support the jab and try to break the chain and work for the achievement of  herd immunity 



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