The Centre on Friday noted a study done by the Indian Council of Medical Research and said that two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield or Covaxin, would prevent deaths in 95% of the cases.
“This real-life study found that two doses of a vaccine were successful in preventing 95% of deaths due to Covid-19 and this is in the midst of the second wave driven by the Delta variant,” Niti Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said during a briefing on the Covid-19 situation in India.
“We are providing this evidence to make a point once again that our vaccines are effective...we already know they are hugely safe.”
The study was conducted on 1,17,524 police personnel in Tamil Nadu. Of those who participated, 17,059 did not receive any Covid-19 vaccine and 20 people in this category died due to the disease. A total of 32,792 police personnel were administered only one vaccine shot and this category reported seven deaths. The third group, comprising 67,673 beneficiaries, were vaccinated with both doses. Four deaths were reported.
“Incidence of Covid-19 deaths per 1000 was 1.17 among unvaccinated, 0.21 among partially vaccinated and 0.06 in fully vaccinated,” the study showed, Paul said.
The NITI Aayog official also reiterated that the Covid-19 vaccines being used were safe and that even pregnant and lactating women should get the shots.
“Patients with cancer and diabetes are even more needy in this requirement and here is real life data to show vaccine effectiveness to prevent deaths is huge,” Paul said. “But we should also remember that not just vaccines but we also need to use masks to prevent an infection.”
Earlier on Friday, the Centre told the Delhi High Court that clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines for children were almost complete. In an affidavit to the court, the Centre submitted that children will be inoculated expeditiously once the government’s expert body on Covid-19 vaccination gives permission.
The petition was filed by a 12-year old, seeking directions from the court to prioritise vaccination for those aged 12-17 and their parents.
Meanwhile, India recorded 38,949 new coronavirus cases on Friday morning, pushing the tally of infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year to 3,10,26,829. The number was 6.8% lower than Thursday’s count of 41,806 cases. India’s toll rose to 4,12,531 as it recorded 542 more deaths in the last day.