96.6% protection from death after 1 Covid shot; 97.5 pc after both: ICMR

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New Delhi, September 9

Two Covid-19 doses have been found to offer near total protection from death in India and even one dose has been more than 96 per cent effective in averting fatalities, the first government analysis of vaccine efficacy among the inoculated segments has shown.

Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava, who led the vaccine effectiveness study, said on Thursday that vaccines have proved life savers in India where the national drive depends on local shots Covaxin and Covishield.

“We synergised the data from several sources including CoWIN and found vaccine effectiveness in preventing mortality with one dose to be 96.6 per cent and with two doses 97.5 per cent. The data was analysed between April 18 And August 15 this year,” ICMR chief said. The analysis tracked vaccine protection rates of inoculated persons through the ferocious second wave of the pandemic was also studied.

Bhargava said vaccine protective effects against death were observed across age groups from 60 plus and 45 to 59 year olds to 18 years and above.

“Reinfections and breakthrough infections are still under analysis. We first looked at deaths which is what most people are interested in and vaccines are definitively averting serious disease and death,” the ICMR DG said.

Data further reveal that death among the non-vaccinated segment is high while mortality rate after two doses is nearly zero.

Member Health NITI Aayog noted, “When you give two doses there is near total protection from severe disease and death. Our vaccines give up to 96 per cent protection from death. It’s clear that vaccines are the most important shield against death. This will change the scenario dramatically.”

As of today India had administered over 72 crore doses with 58 pc people above 18 years covered with one dose.

The government experts have called for expanded vaccination and for left out people to get inoculated on priority.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reminded people today that the second wave was not over and although the weekly positivity rate has been below 3 pc for the tenth week, 35 districts still have more than 10 percent positivity and 30 districts have a positivity rate between 5 and 10 pc.

Lahaul and Spiti and Mandi in Himachal are among the districts of concern with Lahaul’s positivity a high of 13.74 pc.

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