The Delta variant of Covid-19 may mostly be responsible for breakthrough infections in India, the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, or INSACOG, a a scientific advisory group that coordinates the country’s genome sequencing work, said.

Breakthrough cases happen when a person contracts the infection after getting vaccinated. The virus breaks through the protective shield provided by inoculation.

The consortium said on Monday that concerns were arising about whether increasing vaccination breakthroughs in India were linked to the Delta variant.

“Vaccination breakthroughs are common during Delta outbreaks and are expected in India as well,” the consortium said, citing the example of the United Kingdom, which has reported 1.2 lakh breakthrough infections since April this year.

“Concern regarding appearance of new variants should be calibrated in the context of such data,” the consortium said. “As of now sequencing of vaccination breakthroughs in India is also showing a very high proportion of Delta variant.”

The association added that the Delta strain was the major variant of concern in the country at present. “Continuing outbreaks across India are attributable to Delta, a susceptible population, reduced vaccine effectiveness in blocking transmission, and opportunities for transmission,” it said.

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The consortium emphasised that vaccination continued to be very effective in reducing the likelihood of death or severe disease. “Public health measures to reduce transmission and vaccination remain critical,” it said.

On Thursday, unidentified officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had told NDTV that more than 87,000 people in the country tested positive for Covid-19 after getting their second vaccine dose. Kerala accounted for 46% of these cases.

The reduced effectiveness of vaccines against the Delta variant of Covid-19 has sparked global concern. On Wednesday, the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services recommended booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines for all adults, noting that the protection offered by jabs diminished over time.