At present, India has only administered two doses to about 3% of the total population, that is about 4.3 crore people.
Coronavirus in India: As the B.1.617.2 coronavirus variant that was first identified in India is becoming a cause of concern across the world, Public Health England (PHE) data has suggested that in order to provide strong protection against the symptomatic infection from the variant, two doses of coronavirus vaccines are required. The PHE is the executive agency of the UK Department of Health and Social Care. Against this backdrop, it is concerning to think about the kind of challenge India faces with regard to public health when this variant is taking over as the dominant variant of concern and the country is also facing a shortage of vaccine supply.
At present, India has only administered two doses to about 3% of the total population, that is about 4.3 crore people. Meanwhile, about 15.19 crore people have been given the first dose.
The data from PHE was based on the protection that Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines provide against this particular variant as compared to variant B.1.1.7 that had first been identified in south England’s Kent, according to a report in Financial Times as cited by IE. The report added that a single dose of vaccine, which provides 51% protection against the B.1.1.7 variant, only provided an efficacy of 33% against the symptomatic variant identified in India. Meanwhile, two doses of these vaccines were able to provide 87% protection against B.1.1.7, and 81% protection against B.1.617.2.
The data had reportedly been presented to a meeting of New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group or NERVTAG of the UK government on Friday, the FT report stated.
Meanwhile, the IE said that Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) institutes had sequenced more than 20,000 samples of the virus, and variants of concern had been identified in 8,000 of them. Moreover, B.1.617 had been the dominant one among them.