The Delta variant of the coronavirus can infect both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. However, those who have been inoculated against Covid-19 have lower mortality rates and a reduced risk of severe illness from the disease, an Indian Council of Medical Research study, released on Tuesday, has found.
The study published in the Journal of Infection involved participants from Chennai who had contracted the virus. As many as 113 of them were fully vaccinated, 241 people had received a single dose of the vaccine and 185 were unvaccinated.
The vaccinated participants had received at least one shot 14 days prior to their diagnosis of the infection.
The results showed that 74.3% of those who had received both doses contracted the Delta variant. Among those who received one shot, 68.1% had the Delta variant, while 72.4% of the unvaccinated people were infected by the mutant strain.
However, only 6.7% of the fully vaccinated participants faced severe illness due to the disease and none of them died. In comparison, 19.3% of those unvaccinated were diagnosed with severe illness and 4% of them died due to coronavirus.
Vaccines work against Delta variant: Gagandeep Kang
Meanwhile, top Indian virologist Gagandeep Kang on Wednesday asserted that Covid-19 vaccines were effective against the Delta variant, CNBC-TV18 reported. In an interview to the news channel, she added that there was no need to rush for booster shots of the vaccine.
“The third dose does not guarantee protection but it does help,” she said. “Booster doses may add a little bit of benefit in reducing disease but it may not be the best use of doses. We shouldn’t panic and run for booster shots.”
Her comment came even as booster shot programmes of some other countries are already under way. On Wednesday, the United States cleared booster shots for all citizens from September 20, Reuters reported.
Earlier this week, United Kingdom Health Secretary Sajid Javid suggested that those above 50 years of age were likely to be offered third shots from early September. However, the country’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the government on vaccine policy, has not yet given a confirmation on the matter, according to The Guardian.
Last month, Israeli President Isaac Herzog received a third shot of coronavirus vaccine, kicking off a campaign to give booster doses to people aged over 60 in the country.
The World Health Organization has, meanwhile, called for a pause in administering booster shots to ensure vaccine equity. Earlier this month, the health body’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the move would ensure vaccination for at least 10% of the population in every country.