Jabs save lives in all age groups: Govt

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 09, 2021

Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR   -  PTI

Effectiveness of one dose against death is 96.6% & 97.5% with both: Health Ministry

Vaccines protect against death in all age groups. This is the clear message from the government, after analysing data gathered in the four months from April to August.

The protective effectiveness of one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine against death is 96.6 per cent and with both shots 97.5 per cent, said Balram Bhargava, Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), putting a stamp of certainty on vaccines as a life-saving intervention. Referring to data from mid-April to mid-August, he said that most deaths during the Covid second wave (April-May) were among those unvaccinated.

As the country heads into a long festival season, top Health Ministry officials reiterated their message of ramping up vaccination and following it up with Covid-appropriate behaviour, including masking, since the virus is highly transmissible.

Most effective tool

“It is clear that when you give both the doses, there is almost total protection. We have always emphasised complete vaccination. The vaccination saves from mortality up to 95-96 per cent. It makes clear that among our tools , vaccine is the most effective and will save people from deaths,” said VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog. At present, 58 per cent of the adult population has received one dose and 18 per cent both the shots.

In fact, vaccination has gathered significant pace this month, Ministry officials said. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “The average per day dose administered has increased from 20 lakh in May to 78 lakh in September. This number is expected to rise even higher.”

Further, he pointed out, “We have administered more vaccines in the first seven days of September than in 30 days of May. Eighty-six lakh doses have been administered in the last 24 hours. We should increase the pace of vaccination before festivals. The Centre and the States should work to vaccinate the vulnerable population,” he added. On Thursday (till 7-30 pm), India had administered 62.78 lakh doses, taking the total to 72.72 crore.

Even in the case of breakthroughs or infections despite the two doses, Bhushan said, it did not result in deaths and resulted in low hospitalisation. Further, the ICMR chief pointed out, that the breakthrough incidents were being analysed.

Vaccine tracker

The Government is set to launch a Covid Vaccine Tracker, as reported recently by BusinessLine. The tracker will be available on the Health Ministry site and would help track vaccine coverage and offer information relating to mortality involving the doses, on a weekly basis.

“We have tried to develop an India Covid 19 Vaccine Tracker. This will have data synergies between Co-WIN, Covid 19 database of ICMR and Covid 19 portal of Health Ministry. The data has been synergised based on the identification number of ICMR and on the basis of mobile numbers,” Bhargava said.

Published on September 09, 2021

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