Vaccination not shield against COVID, can reduce severity, lower fatality: Experts

New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI): Amid cases of the coronavirus infection being reported post vaccination from a few parts of the country, experts have said inoculation against COVID-19 “does not produce a shield” against the deadly virus, but helps reduce the severity of the infection and chances of death.
They have also said that “no causal link has been established” yet between vaccination and the complications suffered thereafter by a person through any clinical or epidemiological studies. From Delhi to Chennai and even in tier-2 cities like Patna, cases of vaccination beneficiaries contracting the coronavirus infection have been reported in the last couple of months. Thirty-seven doctors at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi have tested positive for COVID-19 since the latest surge in cases, five of whom were admitted for treatment, hospital sources said last week. Many of them had taken both doses of the Covieshield vaccine, the sources said. A 54-year-old sanitation worker in Delhi died from health complications on February 22.
“My father had received his first shot of Covieshield on February 17. That day, when he returned home, he started feeling uneasy and the very next day, he was running temperature, which lasted for two-three days,” his son Dheeraj had said.
He had said his father continued to go to work despite the “weakness post vaccination”, collapsed while being on duty and died at a hospital later.
In Chennai, a vaccination beneficiary, who had got his first shot on March 15, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 29. He was hospitalised on March 30 and died on April 4, raising concerns among the family members on the efficacy of the vaccine.
While cases of minor adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) have been reported in various parts of the country, in some cases, it has been major too, leading to hospitalisation. The Centre, however, has maintained that both Covieshield and Covaxin are safe to take, and urged people not to get swayed by rumours. Several experts have concurred that vaccination against COVID-19 “does not produce a shield” against the deadly virus, but helps reduce the severity of the infection and chances of death. “We know of cases of the infection reported post vaccination, even after taking two doses. But these cases are largely where the beneficiaries have had very mild symptoms. The vaccine at least reduces the severity of the infection and chances of mortality,” Dr Avdhesh Bansal, a pulmonologist at the Apollo hospital here, said. Also, the full efficacy of the vaccine comes in only after two doses, he added.
Dr Richa Sareen, consultant, pulmonology at the Fortis hospital here, echoed Bansal, saying, “The anti-bodies fully kick in only after both the doses have been taken. So a person getting infected after the first dose is possible, if exposed to a source of infection.”

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