‘Vaccine effective, kept 97% Goa Medical College staff safe from Covid’, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Panaji: Even as the vaccination drive has gained momentum, some people are sceptical and question the efficacy of the jab. Doctors in the state continue to debunk myths and point to statistics that show the number of people who got Covid-19 after either taking the first or both doses is negligible.

Experts said that some ask what is the point of taking the shot if one can get infected even after that, but for instance, out of the 4,500 healthcare workers at Goa Medical College (GMC), less than 150 — either fully or partially vaccinated — got infected, which is about 3%.

“More than 90% of doctors and other healthcare workers in GMC have been vaccinated and, despite working in the Covid hospital, fewer than 150 of them contracted the virus. None of them were hospitalised and fatalities were nil,” head of the department of preventive and social medicine at GMC, Dr Jagadish Kakodkar, told TOI.

Kakodkar said that it must be borne in mind by those who are doubtful about the vaccine that the majority of GMC’s doctors and other staff, despite working throughout the second wave when infectivity was high, did not get the infection.

Covid-related fatalities among healthcare workers across the country, he said, was less as compared to the first wave. It was because they were vaccinated when the second wave hit, Kakodkar said.

“Despite the Delta strain being more severe and infectious fewer healthcare workers contracted the virus, also mortalities were less. This proves that the majority will not get the infection if vaccinated. The disease will be mild among those few who may get it,” he said.

It is certain that people who are vaccinated fully with a gap of 84 days between the two doses, receive almost 92% to 94% protection, Kakodkar said. The protective efficacy of the Covishield vaccine when two doses given 84 days apart, is maximum.

“Unvaccinated people are not only vulnerable to infection but 10% to 15% of them will develop moderate disease and 1% to 3 % will die due to the severity of the infection. Severe to moderate infection is definitely prevented by the vaccine,” he said.

Out of the 3,000 Covid deaths reported in the state, the majority were not inoculated. While few died after the first dose and six died despite two doses, all of them had severe co-morbidities, like advanced cancer, kidney disease, heart failure and uncontrolled diabetes, he said.

“We can’t say people have died despite taking the vaccine. They may have died due to their comorbidities. The vaccine has been proven safe and most feared complications at the beginning of the drive, like deaths and anaphylaxis reaction, have not been reported in Goa so far. Whatever reactions were seen among the younger population post-vaccination have been mild, like in the case of any other vaccine, and lasted for two to three days,” Kakodkar said.

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