6,504 fully jabbed contracted Covid in Mumbai
In Mumbai, 6,504 individuals have contracted Covid-19 after taking both vaccine doses against novel coronavirus, with a few beneficiaries having contracted the Delta Plus variant. As per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), such breakthrough infections have been recorded in only 1.5% of the fully vaccinated population in the city. If breakthrough infections increase and get more severe, there might be a need to boost immunity through homologous or heterologous booster doses, said medical experts.
A breakthrough infection is when a person develops Covid-19 after two weeks of being fully vaccinated. Those vaccinated are much more likely to have mild symptoms compared to those who are not vaccinated.
Last month, Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner of BMC (health), who is fully vaccinated, contracted the Covid infection. He was mildly symptomatic and was treated at Seven Hills Hospital, Marol. “No vaccine is 100% effective against the illness. Some fully vaccinated people will get sick and may require hospitalisation. Data across the globe shows that vaccination makes illness less severe for those who are immunised,” said Kakani.
The state Covid-19 task force said the purpose of anti-Covid-19 vaccines is to save lives. Immunisation contributes to eradicating an infection only when the vaccines reach a certain quantum, in terms of the number of vaccinated people. Dr Rahul Pandit, part of the task force, citing an example, said that smallpox or polio viruses were eradicated after several mass immunisation programmes across the globe for decades. “In case of Covid, there will be no infection after vaccination only when 70-90% people across the globe are completely vaccinated. That is when the infection rate will also go down,” said Dr Pandit.
Doctors said it’s too early to predict if the trend is worrisome. It will depend on the proportion of vaccine breakthrough cases that progress to moderate and severe infections. But if the cases increase, immunity boosters might be an option. “If that proportion is very small, Covid-19 will become an endemic disease like common cold, without a heavy healthcare burden. If not, we need to start thinking of ways to boost immunity, such as homologous or heterologous booster doses,” said Dr Lancelot Pinto, pulmonologist and epidemiologist from Hinduja Hospital. Medical experts said as the efficiency rate of the available vaccines is around 70%, such a phenomenon is not rare. “Breakthrough infections with variants such as Delta are worrisome as they are highly transmissible and put those who haven’t been vaccinated at a high risk of getting infected,” said Dr Pinto. Globally, this breakthrough pattern is being observed in around 1% of fully vaccinated people. “As long as we are able to keep patients out of hospitals and ICUs, we should look at it as winning the battle against the virus.” he added.