Did Centre Use Accurate Data for Post-Vaccine Infection Numbers?

ICMR has stated that only two-four people in every 10,000 vaccinated against COVID are reinfected with the virus.

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1 min read

We've heard of people getting reinfected with COVID after their first vaccine jab, and in some cases, especially among doctors, after two jabs. These, if the cause can be clearly established, are called breakthrough infections.

In a press conference on 21 April, the Health Ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that only two-four people in every 10,000 vaccinated against COVID-19 are reinfected with the virus.

A slide, with two rows and five columns, showed that out of the 93,56,436 people who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, 4,208 have been reinfected after the first dose, and 695 after the second dose. In the case of Covishield, with over 10 crore people having been vaccinated, 17,145 had reinfections after the first dose and the number came down to 5,014 after the second dose. The numbers seemed promising.

But how realistic were they? What was the methodology of collecting this data? What time period did the data cover?

As India witnesses a rampant second wave of COVID infections and with the new phase of inoculations starting on 1 May for everyone above the age of 18, it's important to note how effective these vaccines actually are in curbing the severity of COVID-19, especially the new variants.

To help me answer these questions, for today’s episode, I spoke with Priyanka Pulla, a Bangalore-based freelance science journalist, and Ameya Paleja, a freelance science writer.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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