Two doses of a Covid vaccine were successful in preventing 95% of deaths due to Covid-19 during the second wave caused by the Delta and Delta+ variants, whereas deaths were lower by 82% among those inoculated with one dose, the government said citing a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) among more than 1.17 lakh police personnel who were at high risk of infection in Tamil Nadu.
The study assumes significance also because it was conducted during the second wave which was mostly driven by the spread of the Delta variant, implying the vaccine is effective against the mutant that has been found to be highly transmissible as well as virulent, resulting in a large number of deaths during the second wave.
NITI member-health Dr VK Paul presented the findings of the ICMR study on 16 July, reiterating the importance of vaccination in preventing severe infection and deaths.
About 1,17,524 police personnel were analysed for the study out of which those unvaccinated were 17,059, while those who received one dose were 32,792 and those fully vaccinated were 67,673.
The findings of the study show the incidence of death due to Covid-19 was 1.17 per 1,000 among those who were unvaccinated, whereas it reduced to 0.21 per 1,000 in the group that received one dose of Covid jabs. The death rate dropped to 0.06 per 1,000 among people fully vaccinated with two doses of Covid vaccines.
“We would like to reiterate that our vaccines are effective and hugely safe. Pregnant women and lactating women should receive it. Patients with cancer and diabetes are even needier in this requirement and here is real-life data to show vaccine effectiveness to prevent deaths is huge,” Dr Paul said.
“But we should also remember that not just vaccines but we also need to mask up to prevent infection,” he said.