We use the term “breakthrough infections” to refer to those infections that break out even after vaccination for the same has been completed. Accordingly, the virus, in such cases, breaks through the strong layer of protection created by the vaccine. In India, over 87,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 even after receiving both jabs of the vaccine. According to top health ministry sources, Kerala has reported around 46% of the total breakthrough cases. INSACOG, a forum studying genome sequencing of the coronavirus, has said that many of India’s breakthrough cases reveal the Delta variant.
Kerala reported around 80,000 COVID-19 infections after the first jab of vaccination. Nearly 40,000 people contracted the virus after the second dose. Kerala has been witnessing a steep increase in breakthrough cases as well as in fresh cases. The state has been under the public eye and has also become a matter of concern for the Union health ministry. Wayanad (a district in Kerala) which has a 100 per cent vaccination rate is also reporting breakthrough cases rapidly.
On August 20th, the state reported 20,224 fresh cases and 99 deaths. The total positivity rate stood close to 17%.
Around 200 samples from breakthrough infections have gone through genomic sequencing. But fortunately, they have not yielded any new mutation or distinct variant so far, according to a report by NDTV. The report also states that a mutation is very likely to spark a new wave of infection which caused the country to undergo a brutal second wave of the pandemic.
Dr. Padmanabha Shenoy, public health analyst and immunologist remarked, “It is quite natural that a high number of breakthrough infections are reported. The vaccines continue to show efficacy between 70 to 75%. That means not all will get protected against the infection. But the vaccines invariably are still good at saving lives.”
Meanwhile, Cyrus Poonawalla, the chairman of Serum Institute of India has insisted on a third dose of vaccine, six months after the second dose. He said that the third dose is a “must” especially for those with weak immunity. He further stated that he along with 7,000 SII employees have taken the third jab of the Covishield vaccine.