Delta Covid-19 Variant Might Infect Those Who Have Received Covishield Or Covaxin Jabs: AIIMS Study

Delta Covid-19 Variant Can Even Infect Vaccinated People.

Delta Covid-19 variant, first found in India, is believed to be more infectious and might even infect those who have either one or both doses of Covishield and Covaxin.

While the case in India is slowly decreasing, it doesn't mean that the pandemic is over. With the country still reeling with the second wave of Covid-19, and reports of a third-wave doing round, government continue to urge people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. While people continue to question the efficacy of these vaccines, new variants are adding to the concern. Recently, it was announced that the Delta variant was the primary cause behind the ferocious second wave of Covid-19. The first case of double mutation was discovered in Maharashtra in October last year with the help of genome sequencing and sample testing. Earlier lab results reported a sharp rise in the E484Q and L452R mutations since December. If reports are to be believed, it may even escape antibodies created after taking the first or both doses of Covishield and Covaxin.

What Is The Delta Covid-19 Variant?

The Delta variation, also known as COVID-19 infection B.1.617.2 in technical terms, is the result of two virus mutations combining to generate a third, supervirulent strain. Mutations from two different virus variants, E484Q and L452R, are found in the B.1.617 variety. Considering that this variant contains the genetic code from other mutations, it becomes easier for it to infiltrate the immune system and invade the organs. Delta variant is believed to be more infectious than the previous strains found in India.

Recent data released by the UK government suggested that the Delta strain accounted for 1% of all instances that occurred in early April, but by mid-May, it had increased to 70%. As per reports, the Delta variant of Covid-19 is 40 per cent more infectious as compared to the "alpha" (the variant found in the UK), which was already 50 per cent more transmissible. It has been declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Vaccinated People Are Also At Risk

In a small study conducted by researchers from AIIMS-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology), 63 symptomatic patients with a five- to seven-day persistent fever were examined. 36 of the 63 patients had received two doses of vaccination, while 27 had only received the first dose.

As per the results, about 76.9% of Delta variant infections were observed in people who had only received one dose of the vaccination, compared to 60% in persons who had received both doses.

The study highlighted that breakthrough infection attributable to the Delta variant were found to be more common in patients who had received the Covishield vaccine. About 27 patients who took Covishield developed Delta breakthrough infections, with a 70.3 per cent infection rate.

The study read, "Reinfections and vaccine breakthrough infections are rare occurrences, and genomic sequencing of vaccine breakthrough infections can provide useful insights. In the present group of vaccine breakthrough infections investigated using genome sequencing, closely overlapping and mirroring the COVID-19 cases in the states of Delhi, the variants of concern B.1.617.2 and B.1.1.7 comprised the majority, but the proportions were not significantly different in comparison with the population prevalence of the variants during this period with high community transmission."

But Vaccination Is A Must

While some studies have suggested that even after being partially or fully vaccinated with Covishield and Covaxin, people can become infected with the Delta strain. However, more research is needed to be certain that the vaccinations can or cannot protect you against the Delta variant. Moreover, getting a coronavirus jab is the best way to mitigate your risk of Covid-19 if not eradicate it. Getting vaccinated and practising precautions is currently your best bet to combat the disease.

(with inputs from agencies)

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