Delta COVID-19 Variant Main Reason for Breakthrough Infections: ICMR

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The highly contagious Delta variant was behind a majority (86 percent) of breakthrough infections of COVID-19 during the second wave finds a new study released by the Indian Council of Medical Researcher.

This preprint study is the first official study on breakthrough infections conducted in India.

The Delta COVID variant (B.1. 617.2) which was first identified in India was not only the cause for the dramatic spike in cases during the second wave, is also said to have infected those who received one or both doses of the COVID vaccine, finds the study.

It must be noted that the study also pointed to a reduction in hospitalisation and mortality in vaccinated patients.

What the Study Found

The study conducted was done using genomic sequencing to classify the COVID-19 variants involved in cases of breakthrough infections.

  • Throat and nasal swab samples of 677 patients who contracted COVID-19 in spite of being vaccinated, taken from 17 states and union territories, were studied.

  • 604 of these participants had received Covishield, 71 of them had received Covaxin, and 2 of them took the Sinopharm Vaccine.

  • 592 participants had received both the doses of the vaccines, and 85 had received just one dose.

The study found that in the case of 86.69 percent of the breakthrough infections (443 participants), the COVID variant involved was the Delta variant.

This data also includes other strains of the Delta variant including the Kappa, and Delta plus variants (Delta AY.1 and Delta AY.2), and a number of other minor sublineages.

However, hospitalisation and deaths among those who were vaccinated was extremely low in contract.

Only 98. Percent of these patients needed hospitalisation, and only 0.4 percent of them succumbed to the infection.

These findings are in line with another study conducted by the ICMR pointing to both Covishield and Covaxin's efficacy against the Delta vaccine when it comes to serious infection and preventing hospitalisation.

The Delta variant which was first identified in India, has now spread to over 100 countries, and is classified as a 'variant of concern' by the WHO (World Health Organization).

The Delta variant which is rapidly spreading in the world including in the US and the UK has sparked concerns of a third wave of COVID-19.

(Written with inputs from IANS.)

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Topics:  ICMR report   COVID-19   covid variants 

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