Covid vaccine is effective after taking both doses, says expert

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The government is set to launch a Covid vaccine tracker that will allow users to access weekly updates related to vaccine effectiveness and death figures among all age groups with or without inoculations. 

Announcing this in a press briefing by the Union health ministry, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava, said the data from April 18 to August 16 shows that Covid vaccines lowered the risk of mortality by 96.6% after the first dose and 97.5% after the second dose.

“The tracker will be up on the health ministry’s website in a few days’ time,” said Bhargava.

The tracker, he further explained, will synergise data from three platforms, CoWIN—the portal used for booking vaccination slots, ICMR’s national Covid testing database, and the national Covid19 portal, maintained by the health ministry.

It will show the mortality due to Covid trifurcated into segments—non-vaccinated, vaccinated with one dose and fully vaccinated and later, even number of cases of breakthrough infections and reinfections.

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Citing the data from the website which is still under construction, Bhargava pointed out that on May 9, for example, the majority of the people who died of Covid in a group analysed had not received even one dose against coronavirus.

It also depicted that 1.87 % of people who died on this day were vaccinated with one dose while only 1.1% of the people who succumbed to Covid19 were fully vaccinated.

“Vaccine effectiveness in preventing mortality with one dose stood at 96.6% whereas vaccine effectiveness in preventing mortality with two doses stood at 97.5%,” said Bhargava.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the tracker will also show vaccine coverage in the adult population with the first dose and the second dose.

For example, the data shows that on August 15, total vaccine coverage was 44.63% out of which 31.9% of people received the first jabs while 12.37 had got the second shots as well.

As of Thursday morning over 72 crore Covid vaccine doses had been administered in the country and while 58 % of the total adult population in India has now received at least one dose of vaccine, 18% of people in the category are now fully vaccinated.

The details shared in the press conference also showed that there are 38 districts in India reporting over 100 daily Covid19 cases while the number of districts reporting over 10 % test positivity rate is also the same.

For the country as a whole, the test positivity rate has been under 3% for the last 10 weeks even though the situation in Kerala, the only state with over 1 lakh active Covid cases, remains worrisome.