Maharashtra: Vaccinate fast, think of booster doses, say experts | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Maharashtra: Vaccinate fast, think of booster doses, say experts

ByJyoti Shelar, Mumbai
Aug 14, 2021 10:15 PM IST

Of the 66 Delta Plus cases identified in Maharashtra, only 10 people were fully vaccinated, while eight had received only one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Of the 66 Delta Plus cases identified in Maharashtra, only 10 people were fully vaccinated, while eight had received only one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. State health officials said that two of these patients had received Covaxin while the rest had got Covishield. Amidst the fear of mutant strains and abysmally low vaccination coverage, the medical fraternity is not just emphasising primary jabs but also booster doses to curtail the spread of the infection.

A health worker administers Covid vaccine to a beneficiary during a mass vaccination drive, at Lalbaug. (HT PHOTO)
A health worker administers Covid vaccine to a beneficiary during a mass vaccination drive, at Lalbaug. (HT PHOTO)

“We will need booster doses for the population, but unfortunately we are stuck with an extremely slow rollout of the primary vaccination,” said Vellore-based virologist DT Jacob John.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

Experts say that the first, second or third dose for Covid-19 is likely to act as a priming dose. The population will require booster doses on top of the priming doses for long-lasting immunity. Some experts say that the vulnerable population like senior citizens and those with comorbid conditions should be considered for booster doses.

“It is now widely known that the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) can cause breakthrough infections. We don’t know what the Delta Plus is capable of as yet,” said John.

Breakthrough infections are those that occur among people two weeks after completing the mandated full vaccination schedule. The Delta variant, which was labelled as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO), is known as highly transmissible. Nearly 80% of the samples sent for genome sequencing from Maharashtra have the Delta variant, suggesting that it is widespread in the state. The Delta Plus or AY.1 is a mutation of the Delta variant, but little is known about its behaviour.

“The clinical manifestations of Delta Plus patients have not shown anything unusual,” said infectious disease expert Dr Vasant Nagvekar who is also a member of the state’s Covid-19 task force. “To break the chain of infection, vaccination is the key. Our vaccination drives should be carried out at a greater speed,” he said.

The unvaccinated population and those who are unexposed to the virus through a natural infection carry the highest risk of getting infected. Experts say that this large group also provides a conducive ground for the virus to mutate. For instance, Maharashtra has recorded five Delta Plus-related deaths, all among senior citizens and those with multiple comorbidities. Of these, only two were fully vaccinated.

Of the 66 cases that have been identified in the state, 33 patients are in the age group of 19 to 45 years, 18 patients are in the age group of 46 to 60 and eight patients were above 60 years. Seven patients are in the paediatric age group were below 18.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, April 13, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On