Doctors and health experts have sought to allay fears on the growing trend of breakthrough infections, following a number of people, including doctors and healthcare workers, testing positive for Covid-19 even after taking two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
They have emphasised on following the Covid protocol. Health department sources said most of the re-infection cases were either asymptomatic or some had mild symptoms. According to medical experts, Covid-19 vaccines
were intended to generate immune responses that will prevent the virus from causing severe disease.
“The vaccine does not prevent Covid-19, but it reduces the severity. The possibility of infection cannot be ruled out even if a person is fully inoculated. But usually, the possibility of admission in hospitals becomes low. It will be wrong if people drop their guard even if they are double vaccinated. People should always follow the Covid appropriate behaviour such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds and washing their hands,” said the Superintendent of the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), Dr Sanjay Mallik. Dr Mallik has also been associated with the microbiology department.
Apart from those who received both doses of a vaccine, there are people who have been infected with the virus after getting the first dose. According to a doctor at the NBMCH, some of his friends in the medical fraternity had been infected with Covid-19 even after getting two doses, but that the severity was less.
“Such breakthrough cases do not undermine the efficacy of the shots. The mutation of corononavirus strains appears to have increased the risk of breakthrough infections among vaccinated people. While unvaccinated people are at the highest risk of getting infected and spreading the virus, it is also possible for a vaccinated person to become infected and transmit the illness to others,” he said.
Covaxin, India’s homegrown vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, and Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India, have been approved in the country. Doctors are, however, apprehending a spurt in Covid cases after the festivities, given the “reckless behavior” of a section of the people when it comes to following the Covid protocol.