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Covid-19: Delta Variant Behind 86 Per Cent Post-Vaccination Infections, Says ICMR Study

Though the infection from the Delta variant is high hospitalisation and deaths remain low which proves that vaccination does help in reducing the chances of hospital admissions and the risk of mortality.

A BMC health worker collects swab sample of a passenger for COVID-19 test, at a station in Mumbai (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi: A new study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that though the Delta variant was behind the 86 per cent of breakthrough Covid-19 infections, only 9.8 per cent of people infected with it required hospitalisation, and only deaths were reported only in 0.4 per cent of the cases.

A breakthrough infection is when a person gets infected with Covid-19 after getting vaccinated.

The study which is the first nation-wide analysis has shown that vaccination does reduce the chances of hospitalisation and deaths.

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“Therefore, enhancing the vaccination drive and immunising the populations quickly would be the most important strategy to prevent further deadly waves of the COVID-19 and would reduce the burden on the health care system,” the study said.

During the study, the scientist also identified two new variants of Covid-19.

“Delta AY.1 and AY.2 is characterized by the presence of K417N mutation in the spike protein region. K417N, E484K, L452R, and E484Q are the mutations known to disrupt receptor binding domain (RBD) binding capacity and make them more infectious by immune escape mechanisms against the current vaccines. This indicates improved virus fitness to evade immune responses and survive against the vaccines,” the study said.

677 clinical samples (throat swab/nasal swabs) of individuals) were collected by the ICMR for the study.

The samples were taken from people who had taken either one or two doses of Covid-19 vaccines and then got infected from the virus.

“The overall majority (86.09 per cent) of the breakthrough infections were caused by the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of SARS-CoV-2 in different regions of India except for the northern region where the Alpha variant predominated,” the study said.

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Out of the total samples, 67 cases( 9.8 per cent) required hospitalisation while three people died (0.4 per cent).

Out of the 677 patients analysed, 85 acquired COVID-19 infection after taking the first dose of the vaccine, while 592 were infected after receiving both doses of the vaccine.

A total of 604 patients had received the Covishield vaccine, 71 had received Covaxin and two had received the Sinopharm vaccine.

A total of 482 cases (71 per cent) were symptomatic with one or more symptoms, while 29 per cent had asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

With inputs from PTI

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