Mumbai: More than 6,000 people have contracted Covid after being fully vaccinated and on account of travel, according to a survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Such cases are referred to as ‘breakthrough’ infections, indicating that the virus has been able to break through the defences created by the vaccine. According to the data, 6,504 were reinfected after getting both doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Civic officials say it is well understood that no vaccine offers 100 per cent protection from any disease, meaning there are breakthrough cases for all kinds of vaccines — including Covid-19 vaccines. According to the Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), while vaccinated people are much less likely to get sick, the possibility is never entirely ruled out.
BMC Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare said that according to the information received so far, only 1.5 per cent of the people who took both doses had suffered from corona. Most of them had mild symptoms while some needed ICU care. “Now, there is no information on any fatalities. As the survey progresses, we will learn about the actual situation,” Dr Gomare said.
A senior doctor from the civic health department said the civic body’s data collection exercise was two-pronged. It asked all hospitals to track Covid patients who were admitted. At the same time, its war rooms were tasked with contacting patients in home isolation at the time to collect information.
A senior official from the state Covid taskforce said currently vaccines were being used as early generation emergency use authorisation vaccines.
Senior health experts said that it was difficult to draw a comparison of breakthrough infections reported with those found across the state or national level because such numbers were not available in the public domain. “The mortality among those who get a breakthrough infection is also lower and post-Covid complications are also minimal. It also shows the globally accepted fact that no vaccine provides 100 per cent safety and there could be a minuscule percentage of breakthrough infections,” he said.
BMC Immunisation Officer Dr Sheela Jagtap said while vaccines were definitely helpful in fighting corona, but they were more useful in reducing the severity of the disease though in such a situation, the assumption that people would not have Covid after taking the vaccine and their not following Covid protocol could cause problems for others. “Therefore, even after taking the vaccine, wear a mask, avoid crowds and pay attention to cleanliness,” she said.
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