Both doses of COVID-19 vaccine provide at least 98 per cent protection from death due to the virus, NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul said on Friday (July 2), citing a study done by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh in association with the Punjab government. The study was conducted on the state’s police personnel.
Dr Paul said that a total of 42,720 police personnel received both doses of the vaccine and two among them died, which means that the rate is 0.05 per thousand.
Nine policemen out of 35,856, who had taken a single shot of the vaccine, died, which takes the rate to 0.25 per thousand.
Dr Paul also said that 15 out of the 4,868 police personnel who were not vaccinated died of COVID-19, which makes the rate 3.08 per thousand.
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“When we interpret these numbers, we find that one dose offers 92 per cent protection from death while both doses offer a protection of 98 per cent,” Dr Paul said adding that this study was done on the police because they belong to the ‘high-risk’ group.
Dr Paul also said that the study does not include the number of police personnel who got a breakthrough infection after vaccination.
“CMC Vellore’s study on healthcare workers too revealed similar efficacy. It is now scientifically established that vaccines are effective in protecting against death. There can be minor illnesses after vaccination, but vaccines eliminate the possibility of serious illness and death. This instills faith in our vaccine. We always talk about other vaccines but these studies reveal that our vaccines in real life are effective against COVID death,” Dr Paul added.
Dr Paul also said that the third wave of COVID-19 is not in anyone’s hands and all preparations including medical infrastructure in rural areas, ICU beds, and medicines should be done before the third wave. “But our attempt would be to stall any new outbreak. And if we are disciplined, then this wave will not come,” he added.
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India’s vaccination rate has saw a huge dip by 68 per cent, after it went up to a record 86 lakh vaccine doses across the country on June 21. After the centralised vaccination program started on June 21, the vaccination rate went up for some days with more than 50 lakh people being vaccinated each day, but it came down to just 27.6 lakh on Wednesday.