Few breakthrough infections after Covishield, Covaxin jabs
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 21
Ahead of the expansion of the inoculation drive to cover adults from May 1, the government today said the third India-made vaccine—a collaboration between Biological E and Biotechnology Department—was expected by August and talks with foreign vaccine makers were progressing well.
VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said Biological E and Biotechnology Department vaccine’s Phase 1 and 2 trials were over and Phase 3 trials would start soon.
“They are submitting their data for review. They have a huge production capacity of seven crore doses. We hope the vaccine will be available from August,” he said.
The ICMR also shared data to show only 2 to 4 persons in every 10,000 inoculated with Covaxin and Covishield reported breakthrough infections (Covid after receiving the vaccine dose).
“The narrative on breakthrough infections is quite distant from reality. The incidence of breakthrough infection in India is very low. Even if Covid infection occurs after the first and the second dose of the vaccine, it does not cause severe disease. The risk of infection is there, which is why masks are important, but the risk of severe infection reduces considerably,” he said.
Out of 93, 56, 436 people who received the first doses of Covaxin, 4,208 (0.04 %) had breakthrough infection. The proportion was the same for those who received the second dose of Covaxin (695 got Covid out of 17,37,178).
Likewise, 10,03,02,745 people received Covishield first dose and of them 17,145 (0.02 %) got breakthrough infection. Out of 1,57,32,754 who got the second dose of Covishield, 5,014 reported breakthrough infection.
The government also clarified that from May 1, the Centre would not allocate vaccines to private hospitals. “From May 1 the Centre will keep 50 per cent capacity of vaccine production and the remaining 50 per cent will be meant for state governments and private hospitals. The previous system of Centre allocating to private hospitals will not exist anymore, nor will the previous price mechanism of the cost of Rs 250 a dose for private hospital vaccination. This does not mean vaccines will be available at chemist shops. Adults will be able to get their shots through the state government route or private hospitals,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
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