94% protection against serious illness in vaccinated docs: Study

Shows Covid jabs work extremely well against severe disease by massively cutting the risk of hospitalisation

94% protection against serious illness in vaccinated docs: Study

Photo for representational purpose only

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 11

Covishield and Covaxin, the two made in India shots, are working very well against severe Covid-19 disease as death, shows a new research by Christian Medical College, Vellore, on its health workers.

Led by CMC Vellore Director John Victor, the research concludes that vaccination is protective and the best tool against looming future waves of the pandemic.

“Beyond the immediate implications of Covid-19 vaccination for public health include cost-effective protection from infection, reduction of illness severity and an intervention to break the chain of transmission effectively. Even as many states chose to restrict movement to reduce stress on the healthcare system, we realise that future waves can at best be prevented or at worst mitigated through aggressive and widespread vaccination,” authors say in a pre print submitted for peer review.

The study found the protective effect of vaccination in preventing infection, hospitalisation, need for oxygen and ICU admission to be 65 per cent, 77 per cent, 92 per cent and 94 per cent, respectively, which means vaccines offer this level of protection to health workers who accepted the doses.

The research is critical when the second dose coverage of Indian health and frontline workers is a dismal 56 per cent and 47 per cent and first dose coverage is 84 and 85 per cent, respectively.

CMC, a 2,600-bed tertiary care hospital with 10,600 employees, vaccinated 8,991 staff (84.8 per cent) between January 21, 2021 and April 30. A majority (93.4 per cent) received Covishield, and the remainder, Covaxin.

Reporting the incidence of symptomatic Covid infection among HCWs nearly a month after the first dose and later, the researchers say, “The median time from first dose to development of infection was 77 days and coincided with the second peak in India during April and May 2021. Thirty-three HCWs developed infection within two weeks of the second dose of vaccine. Among the 7080 fully vaccinated HCWs, 679 (9.6 per cent) developed infection 47 days after the second dose. The risk of infection among fully vaccinated HCWs was significantly lower when compared with unvaccinated HCWs.”

The only staff member who died since the beginning of the pandemic had multiple co-morbidities and had not taken the vaccine.

A previous study of 23,324 HCWs in the UK reported vaccine coverage of 89 per cent and in a two-month follow up, symptomatic and asymptomatic infections occurred in 80 participants (3.8 per ent) among vaccinated and 977 (38 per cent) among unvaccinated. 

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