The Union health ministry has launched a vaccine tracker to track breakthrough Covid-19 infections after immunisation and the efficacy of the jabs.
Balram Bhargava, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said on Thursday that this data has been derived after combining three databases: CoWin, Covid-19 India portal and Covid-19 testing portal to offer weekly vaccine effectiveness data. Monitoring will be done on the basis of mobile numbers. This data will be available online after a week.
The first analysis after synergising the three databases looked at death, and there was near-total protection after two doses, Bhargava said. Data showed vaccine effectiveness in preventing mortality after the first dose was at 96.6% and at 97.5% after the second dose, and it also significantly reduced hospitalisation. The data between April and August 2021 showed protection against death in all age groups.
As on Thursday, the country has vaccinated 58% of the eligible population with the first dose and 18% with the second dose. Total vaccinations crossed 72 crore on Thursday, with 54.68 crore having received their first dose and 18.92 crore the second. Daily vaccination rate in the first week of September has been at 78.10 lakh compared to 59.19 lakh in August.
No decision has been taken on vaccinating children yet, though the Zydus Cadila vaccine has been granted emergency use approval. Covaxin, Novovax and Biological E are also carrying out trials on children.
VK Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, said a few countries have started vaccinating children, but there is no recommendation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on this and a final call would be taken by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India.
Health ministry officials have warned against public celebrations and travel during the festive season and urged for low-key celebrations to avoid a surge in cases.
Bhargava said 35 districts are still reporting case positivity of more than 10%. Another 30 districts have reported case positivity between 5-10%. There are still 38 districts reporting more than 100 cases every day. There is a need for district-level restrictions till the positivity rate comes down below 5% levels, Bhargava said.
Meanwhile, 42,264 new cases and 338 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, with Kerala accounting for 68.59 % of the cases. Total active cases are now at 3.93 lakh. Kerala accounts for 2,40,037 cases and Maharashtra 51,419.