'Very, very small number': Govt on infections after Covid vaccination

Covishield coronavirus vaccine | Photo: PTI

More than 21,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 after taking the first dose of either Covishield or Covaxin, while over 5,500 contracted the infection after taking the second dose, the Centre said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said 0.04 per cent of 17,37,178 individuals, who received the second dose of Covaxin, were positive for COVID-19, while 0.03 per cent of 1,57,32,754 people, who took the second dose of Covishield, contracted the infection.

Bhargava who presented the data said vaccines reduce the risk of infection and prevent death and severe infection.

"After vaccination if one gets infection then it is known as breakthrough infection," he said.

So far, 1.1 crore doses of Covaxin have been administered. Out of which 93 lakh received the first dose and out of that 4,208 (0.04 per cent) people got the infection which is four per 10,000 individuals. About 17,37,178 people received the second dose of which only 695 (0.04 per cent) tested positive for COVID-19, Bhargava said.

Of Covishield, 11.6 crore doses have been given. Ten crore received the first dose and 17,145 i.e. 2 per 10,000 people contracted the infection. About 1,57,32,754 individuals took the second dose of covishield and of that 5,014 (0.03 per cent) got infected. Two to four per 10,000 breakthrough infections have occurred, a very small number. This was mainly healthcare workers prone to more occupational hazards, he said.

According to the data, 5,709 people contracted the infection after the second dose of either of the two vaccines.

"This is a very small number and not at all worrisome. Secondly, the highly transmissable second wave also contribute miniscule to the percentage so this could have been even zero per cent," he said.

NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul noted that there is a risk even after taking vaccination so "we stress people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour even after taking the vaccination".

Amid oxygen shortage in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that 7,500 metric tonnes of oxygen is being produced in the country per day and 6,600 metric tonnes is being supplied to the states for medical use.

"Presently, we have issued instructions that, leaving a few industries, the supply of industries will be restricted so that more and more oxygen can be made available for medical use. We have allocated 6600 MT out of 7500 MT to states," he said.



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