The Maharashtra government has also asked district health authorities to emphasise that the vaccination schedule is completed on time.
Breakthrough infections have emerged as a cause of concern for health authorities and medical experts in Pune. Several studies are already underway on this aspect at the National Institute of Virology, while the results of genome sequencing are also expected soon.
A breakthrough case is when a person fully vaccinated against an infection gets the disease. However, no vaccine offers complete protection against infections, and neither are such cases unique to Covid-19. According to Dr. Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 task force, most of these breakthrough infections were happening after the first dose. Dr Joshi told The Indian Express that a single dose had given a false sense of security and people lowered their guards as a result. He stressed on the need to be more vigilant as there was only some immunity after a fortnight of both the doses.
Dr Joshi said most of the breakthrough infections in large healthcare systems were asymptomatic, moderate or mild, and rarely needed hospitalisation. He also wants tighter regulations amid a worsening trend. He said people all over the world were concerned by the Delta variant, which had a higher transmission rate, adding that there were a lot of active viruses that needed intensive containment measures.
Fortis and Apollo hospitals as well as Christian Medical College in Vellore are already conducting studies on healthcare workers exposed to the virus. These studies are looking at the infection rate among these frontline workers after both doses of the vaccine.
The Maharashtra government has also asked district health authorities to emphasise that the vaccination schedule is completed on time. So far, the state has administered over 3.5 crore doses. A huge section of the population is now in line for the vaccine’s second dose, The Indian Express has learnt from the state’s health officials. Dr Joshi said it wouldn’t be correct to say that India was out of the woods as long as 70 per cent of the population did not get both doses, he said. He also advocated for strict protocols and said India needed to reduce crowding and ensure spaces had better ventilation.
Maharashtra’s overall caseload is currently at 61.57 lakh, while the death toll is at 1.25 lakh.