25 September 2021 Posted By : Afshan Yasmeen

Delta impact: 14,421 persons got COVID-19 despite vaccination

Karnataka has recorded 14,421 breakthrough COVID-19 infections, and 126 of the patients have succumbed to the disease ever since the start of vaccination.

Breakthrough infections are those that occur among people who have contracted COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.

According to data from the State Health and Family Welfare Department, while 11,881 infections and 109 deaths were reported among those who have taken the first dose, 2,540 infections and 17 deaths were reported among the fully vaccinated.

State Health Commissioner K.V. Trilok Chandra said the numbers are not alarming as only 0.03% of the 93,04,200 fully-vaccinated people in Karnataka have been infected.

Asserting on the effectiveness of the vaccine, the Commissioner said: “Not more than 150 of them required hospitalisation. It is very important that people should continue to follow COVID-19 precautions even after getting vaccinated.”

While 3,88,53,903 crore people have taken at least one dose of the vaccine in Karnataka as of Thursday, over 93 lakh people have been fully vaccinated.

Role of Delta variant

According to a recent study published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), breakthrough infections were predominantly caused by the Delta variant of the virus during the second wave in India.

V. Ravi, member of the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka, said almost all the breakthrough infections were due to the Delta variant. “Evidence from genome sequencing of breakthrough infections shows that Delta is the culprit. There are concerns that newer variants of the virus could also emerge through breakthrough infections,” he said.

U.S. Vishal Rao, Dean of Centre of Academic Research at HCG Cancer Centre, who is a member of the State’s Genomic Surveillance Committee, said a majority of the 126 deaths have occurred in Hassan and Mysuru.

While sources said this could be due to serious adverse events that patients in these districts would have developed following immunisation, Dr. Rao said : “This would most likely signify the possibility of vaccine escape mutations acquiring in some specific strains that were seen in Hassan and Mysuru.”

C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force, said the same process of risk assessment and triaging should be done for those who contract the disease even after being fully vaccinated. “Only those with co-morbidities, if symptomatic, may require hospitalisation for monitoring and further management. Among those who have contracted breakthrough infections, we have noticed that ICU admissions are significantly low,” he said.

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