The data on Australia’s COVID-19 Delta variant outbreak has a silver lining for India, which is bracing for a possible third wave of the pandemic. The data shows that two doses of vaccine can provide significant protection against hospitalisation or even death.
The health authorities in Australia’s major financial hub Sydney -- currently under lockdown due to the Delta variant outbreak -- have stated that people who were infected and had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine did not require hospitalisation.
Of the 47 patients in the hospital, 37 had not been vaccinated and four had been vaccinated with either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, data released on July 10 showed, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Kerry Chant, the Chief Well-Being Officer for New South Wales said, "Two doses of either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine are extremely efficient at stopping hospitalisation and death," the WSJ reported.
Data from Australia and UK as well as Israel proves that two doses of vaccination are good enough to protect oneself against the virus. Israel has vaccinated over 60 percent of its population. The UK and US have vaccinated nearly half of their population but Australia has only vaccinated 8 percent till date. Though low on the vaccination count, Australia took other measures like closing its borders and making it mandatory for its inbound citizens from other countries to quarantine themselves in resorts and hotels.
Vaccination Only Way Out for India
As India slowly recovers from the second wave, the Australian data underscores the need for vaccination. Several states are preparing for a possible third wave, which is expected to hit children more, by boosting their health infrastructure.
Though it is obvious that an accelerated vaccination drive is the need of the hour, several states are still struggling with short supply of vaccines. India, with a population of over 130 crore, has administered over 37 crore doses of vaccines as of 7 am on July 12. The vaccination drive in India started from January 16.
The Centre, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in June, had mentioned that a total of 51.6 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses would be made available by July 31. Out of the 51.6 crore doses, 35.6 crore have already been provided to states and private hospitals.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First Published: IST