As studies progress on breakthrough infections of Covid-19 across India through genomic sequencing of virus samples, including at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, health experts are warning people not to get complacent after just one dose of a vaccine.
“Most of the infections in vaccinated people occur after a single dose of vaccine. A single dose of vaccine is giving false security to people and they tend to lower their guard. There is a need to be more vigilant as it is only after two weeks of both vaccine doses that there will be some immunity,” Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Maharashtra Covid-19 taskforce, told The Indian Express.
While breakthrough infections, when fully vaccinated people get the disease, are not uncommon, patients have largely remained asymptomatic in such Covid-19 cases, as per hospital data. There are several studies of breakthrough infection in fully-vaccinated health workers of hospitals like Apollo or Fortis group, and CMC Vellore and they suggest most such Covid cases are asymptomatic, mild or moderate and rarely needing hospitalisation.
“We will have to be tight on regulations and curbs as the current trend is not looking good. Worldwide people are concerned about the Delta variant as it has a higher rate of transmissibility. There are a lot of active viruses in circulation and need intensive containment measures. Till we do not fully vaccinate 70 per cent of the population, we cannot say we are out of the woods. Strict protocols need to be in place and we have to reduce crowding and ensure better-ventilated spaces,” Joshi said.
Among the districts of concern in Maharashtra include Kolhapur, Sangli Satara, Ratnagiri, Sindhudhurg, Pune and others. Experts have also raised concerns over limited contact tracing measures. “The contact tracing may not be up to the mark, or testing may be less and we need to contain better especially in the districts of concern,” Joshi said.
Maharashtra now has 116,165 active cases with an overall death toll of 125,878. The state has administered more than 3.5 crore vaccine doses and a huge chunk of the population is now eligible for the second dose.