The effectiveness of anti-coronavirus vaccine in preventing mortality is 96.6 per cent after the first dose and 97.5 per cent after the second dose, the Centre said on Thursday, citing data from a COVID-19 tracker' developed by synergising data from three platforms.
Speaking at a briefing of the Union health ministry, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava said the vaccine tracker has been developed by synergising data from CO-WIN potal, National COVID-19 testing database and COVID-19 India portal, to give information on various aspects of vaccination. The data has been synergised based on ICMR identification number and on the basis of mobile numbers. We have been able to get a vaccine tracker which is going to be online very soon on the health ministry's website, he said.
The tracker gives week by week coverage of the first and second dose of vaccine and also their effectiveness. Citing the data from COVID-19 tracker from April 18 to August 15, Bhargava said, Vaccine effectiveness in preventing mortality is 96.6 per cent and 97.5 per cent after the second dose.
V K Paul, NITI Aayog member (Health) said it is clear that after two doses, there is near total protection from serious diseases and death. Vaccine is an important shield for protection against the novel coronavirus infection. This will change the scenario very dramatically, he said.
Responding to a question on the rate of breakthrough infection, Bhargava said, "This is the data we are still looking at. These vaccines are disease modifying and not disease preventing. So breakthrough infections will occur even after vaccination and that is why we keep recommending continued use of masks and following Covid appropriate behaviour. It is very important to continue the use of masks even after vaccination. Ahead of the festive season, both the officials noted that mass gatherings have to be discouraged.
Bhargava said low-key celebration of festivals this year will provide an opportunity to enjoy them in a bigger way next year. He also emphasised on responsible travel rather than revenge travel.