What Are Breakthrough COVID Cases Taking Place In Kerala? Read Here
New Delhi: Kerala’s COVID count continues to be a cause of worry for the nation. Breakthrough infections (infections even after full vaccination) from Kerala have now become a big challenge. Health workers, who were the first to be fully vaccinated form the bulk of the cases.
According to experts the symptoms in such cases are very mild and can only be detected through effective testing. Economic Times (ET) reported that Kerala accounts for 70 per cent of the COVID caseload in the country despite the fact that 96 per cent of its eligible population has received its first dose of the COVID vaccine and 56 per cent are fully vaccinated.
According to state government data, 1,19,401 positive cases were reported from Kerala in the past 15 days, from October 19 to November 2. Of these, 1,00,593 had been eligible for vaccination of which 67,980 (57.9 per cent of the total case count) had got either both doses or a single dose.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the trend of breakthrough infections was anticipated and pointed out that it also proved that vaccination could prevent the severity of infection.
The Minister said in the last one week, only around 2 per cent of the 77,516 active cases required oxygen beds and about 1.5 per cent needed ICU admission.
“Kerala has got immunity mainly from vaccination rather than infection as revealed by the state’s recent seroprevalence survey. In many other states, the high prevalence of antibodies was mainly due to the widespread infection,’’ George said.
“Although fully vaccinated persons are getting infected, deaths among them due to Covid are very rare. In cases where fully vaccinated people died, the victims had been either very old or had severe comorbidity factors,” she said.
According to experts, one of the possible reasons could be the long period of exposure of fully vaccinated people. “Vaccination has given a false sense of confidence among people of all sections, prompting many to abandon Covid protocols,’’ The Indian Express (TIE) quoted a health official as saying.
Dr T S Aneesh, a member of the state’s expert committee on COVID told TIE that health workers, frontline workers, government officials and teachers on election duty, had been first to get fully vaccinated.
“The data on infection among the fully vaccinated is a reason to suspect whether the immunity level in the fully vaccinated is going down. Another factor is that health workers, who are among those with breakthrough infections, have better access to testing,’’ he said.
Aneesh said that in places or states where natural infection of Covid was very high, chances of breakthrough infections are very low.
“Kerala had immunity from vaccine rather than natural infection, and the state has been vulnerable to breakthrough cases. Breakthrough infection shows the effectiveness of the health system. In infections happening after vaccination, symptoms would be very mild. Such cases with mild symptoms can be detected only through effective testing strategies,’’ he said.