A total of 1,928 persons tested positive in Chandigarh since January 6
- Naina Mishra
- Tribune News Service
- Chandigarh, January 9
More than 85 per cent of the patients, who tested positive since January 6, have been found fully immunised against Covid-19, which is in sync with the growing evidence that the Omicron variant is better at circumventing vaccinated peoples’ immunity than other Covid variants.
Of 1,928 Covid patients testing positive since January 6, 87 per cent (1,696) were fully immunised and 92 patients had received the first dose.
Prof Mini P Singh from the PGI Virology Department said, “Studies have shown Omicron extensively but incompletely escapes vaccine neutralisation. Antibodies of people double-vaccinated with any of the four most widely used vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, were significantly less effective at neutralising the Omicron variant compared to the ancestral virus. Antibodies from previously infected individuals were even less likely to neutralise Omicron.”
“The breakthrough infection rate by Omicron is more than Delta due to immune evasion capability. However, more data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants,” the Professor added. Prof RK Ratho, Head of Department of Virology, in his latest literature review under “Omicron – new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern mounting worldwide fear” had also stated.
Even as the Omicron variant is capable of escaping vaccine-induced immunity, experts have pointed out that the Covid vaccines are not intended to stop the transmission and reduce the severity and hospitalisation.
A noted epidemiologist, Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, said, “Although by definition, breakthrough infection means infection with a virus after the person is vaccinated, the Covid-19 vaccine does not work to stop the person from being infected and rather it reduces the disease severity. In the second wave, the majority of our population was unvaccinated against covid-19; as a result, there were fewer breakthrough cases. However, the most population is vaccinated now, and Omicron is highly infectious, which is why there are more number of vaccinated persons testing positive.”
Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Scientific Adviser, said, “Vaccine escape is common for Omicron. There are published data from Western nations that after six months, there is very little protective effectiveness of all conventional vaccines against infection. However, protection against hospitalisation and serious disease did not decline. In a population that is highly vaccinated, a large percentage of people with Omicron will have been vaccinated, but that does not mean that vaccine is not effective.”
City logs 666 cases
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418 fresh cases in Panchkula
Panchkula: Panchkula logged 418 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the number of active cases to 1,447 in the district. Only 35 of them are hospitalised. The overall case tally reached 32,666. The death count remained 382.
“The spike protein gene is the target of most of the currently available vaccines, therefore this variant may have a greater potential to escape prior immunity than the previous Delta variant. The prime concern over the current vaccines is their decreasing effectiveness against Covid-19 over a period.”