Two-dose vaccination highly effective against severe Covid-19 infection

New Delhi: A recent study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Covishield vaccine administered in Delhi’s Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center (RGCIRC) has found in its interim report, that out of 599 fully-vaccinated healthcare workers, only 1.16 per cent developed severe illness that necessitates hospitalisation after testing Covid positive.

“Healthcare workers (HCWs) were working very hard and the driving force behind the recovery of seriously infected patients. During second wave, out of 1500 health care workers, the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection is 213 (14.2 per cent). The major focus area of the study is to recognise the importance of vaccine and severity of Covid-19 infection post-vaccination, to address vaccine hesitancy and also to alleviate myths about inoculation,” says the Hospital in a statement.

“This study reflects significant vaccine efficacy of 81.3 per cent after complete dose of vaccination and protection of 76.9 per cent after at least one standard dose, against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection,” it added.

According to the Delhi-based hospital and tertiary cancer care centre, this study bursts another common myth that, “SARS-CoV-2 variants may contribute to an increased rate of infections and potentially have an adverse effect on the efficacy of vaccines that leads to breakthrough infections. At present, the frequency of Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough is very low, which means that Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing Covid-19, particularly when it comes to severe disease. So the second major highlight of the study is that, within 7-14 days after receiving the second dose, rate of breakthrough infections was only 2 per cent.”

According to Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid Association, “Universal vaccination, and its timely achievement in the face of a mutating virus is key to the victory against the Covid pandemic. The challenges of achieving this involve scaling up supply of vaccines, an active vaccination outreach campaign and dealing with vaccine hesitancy in our country. People must be vaccinated with free and informed consent, and without the use of indirect force or enticements. For this to happen quickly information is the key, much needed vaccination drives must be accompanied with authentic information and awareness drives.”

“In our ongoing campaign to spread awareness and updated information on #CovidAppropriate Behaviour and Covid Vaccination in 120 districts of India, we have come across, both in towns and countryside, and across social, income and age groups resistance to the idea of Covid Vaccine.”

“In 2019, the WHO listed “vaccine hesitancy” as among the top 10 threats to global health. From the feedback our campaigners receive, the reasons why people choose not to vaccinate range from a simple lack of information about the existence of vaccine, to difficulties in accessing it, to more complex ones such as lack of confidence in vaccine efficacy, belief in other healing systems, to adverse impacts of vaccination, including the the big fear catching Covid after vaccination, and of death,” adds ActionAid Association.

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