New Delhi: There’s still so much around novel coronavirus that researchers and scientists are exploring on a regular basis. According to separate studies conducted by AIIMS (Delhi) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), it has come to fore that the ‘delta’ variant of COVID-19, which was first detected in India in October 2020, is capable of infecting people even after they have received both doses of the Covaxin or Covishield vaccines. Also Read - Good News! Taj Mahal Reopens For Visitors as COVID Cases Decline
However, please note that neither study has been peer-reviewed as yet, as per the reports. Also Read - THIS City in India is Most Suitable to Live in During COVID Times, Says Report | Deets Inside
What does the AIIMS study say?
The AIIMS study suggests that the ‘delta’ variant of COVID19 – which others, including one by British health authorities, say is between 40 and 50 per cent more infectious than the ‘alpha’ version first reported from the UK – has likely wreaked havoc in India and is behind majority of the infections in the country. Also Read - Single Shot of Covishield Offers 61% Effectiveness Against Delta Strain: Covid Panel Chief
What was the study based on?
The AIIMS-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology) study was based on an analysis of 63 symptomatic patients who reported to the hospital’s emergency ward complaining of high fever persisting for five to seven days. Of these 63 people, 53 had been given at least one dose of Covaxin and the rest at least one dose of Covishield. Thirty-six had received both doses of one of these vaccines, the study mentions.
76.9 per cent of infections by the ‘delta’ variant were recorded in people who had received a single dose, and 60 per cent in people who had received both doses.
Meanwhile data from the NCDC-IGIB study indicated that breakthrough infections due to the ‘delta’ variant seemed to affect people who took Covishield. This study showed ‘delta’ breakthrough infections in 27 patients who had taken that vaccine, with the infection rate at 70.3 per cent.
Importantly, data from both studies indicated the ‘alpha’ variant is also proving resistant to Covishield and Covaxin, but not as significantly as the version first reported from India. Both studies also indicated that while the vaccine’s protection against the ‘delta’, and even ‘alpha’, variants may be reduced, severity of infection in each case appeared to be unaffected as a result.
This is in line with scientists’ views that there is, as yet, no evidence the ‘delta’ variant is causing a greater number of Covid-linked deaths or more severe infections.
The AIIMS-IGIB and NCDC-IGIB studies, however, appear to contradict a joint investigation by the National Institute of Virology in Pune, the ICMR and Covaxin manufacturers Bharat Biotech. That study, which has also not yet been peer-reviewed, indicated Covaxin offers protection against both the ‘delta’ and ‘beta’ variants. For the uninitiated, the ‘beta’ variant of COVID was first discovered in South Africa.
Besides, according to the reports, last week a government study by scientists from the NCDC and the Indian SARS COV2 Genomic Consortia indicated that the ‘delta’ variant was behind the deadly second Covid wave in India. At the peak of the wave, last month, over three to four lakh new cases were reported every day.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his televised speech said that so far 24 crore doses of COVID vaccines have been administered in the country.
In the last 24 hours, the country has registered around 92,000 new cases and people are now slowly getting back to normalcy after over a month-long exhilarating experience due to the second wave of infections.