The Indraprastha Apollo Hospital’s observational study of healthcare workers to evaluate the frequency of ‘Breakthrough Infection‘ (infections after the vaccination) of COVID-19 has revealed that 97.38 per cent of those vaccinated were protected from the COVID-19 infection.
Chances of hospitalisation after the vaccination are only 0.06 per cent, said the study that was carried out out on healthcare workers who reported to Delhi’s Indraprastha Apollo Hospital with symptomatic COVID-19, during the first 100 days of the vaccination drive using the Covishield vaccine.
The study covered 3,235 healthcare workers (HCWs). A total of 85 of the 3235 HCWs acquired the SARS-COV-2 infection during the study period. Out of these, 65 (2.62 per cent) were fully vaccinated, and 20 (2.65 per cent) were partially vaccinated.
Females were significantly more affected and the age did not influence the incidence of infection.
According to CDC, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.
Group Medical Director of Apollo Hospitals Group Dr Anupam Sibal said, “India has witnessed a huge increase in cases in the second wave of COVID-19 recently, amidst the vaccination drive that is in progress. There have been reports of infections after the vaccination, which are also known as Breakthrough Infections. These infections may occur after partial and full vaccination in some individuals.”
The findings of the study are under consideration for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Dr Sibal, who is also a senior consultant for Paediatric Gastroenterology, said, “The studies indicated that COVID-19 vaccination does not provide 100 per cent immunity. Even after full immunization it protects against serious manifestations. Our study demonstrated that 97.38 per cent of those vaccinated were protected from an infection and hospitalisation rate was only 0.06 per cent. The results of the study show that break-through infections occur only in a small percentage and these are primarily minor infections that do not lead to severe disease. There were no ICU admissions or death. Our study makes the case for vaccination stronger.”
“The current studies indicate that immunity takes two weeks to properly develop after the second vaccine dose. Hence, if due precautions and preventive measures are not taken by the vaccinated person during this time, the breakthrough infections may occur,” Dr Raju Vaishya, senior consultant for Orthopedics
“In many people, a sense of security creeps in after the vaccination, partial or full, leading to avoidance of COVID appropriate behaviour like not using face masks, social distancing, and hand sanitation. This increases the risk of re-infections. Even after vaccination, it is essential to continue to take precautions to avoid any chance of exposure to the novel coronavirus,” he added.
The study emphasizes the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are effective with vaccine breakthrough infection occurring only in a small percentage of vaccinated persons. All eligible persons should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to them.