COVID-19 Delta Variant infects both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, confirms ICMR Study

ICMR in Chennai has shown in its study that the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Read all you need to know.

Created On: Aug 19, 2021 14:37 IST
COVID-19 testing, Source: PTI
COVID-19 testing, Source: PTI

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Chennai has shown in its study that the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, however, the mortality rate is low among the former group.

The Institutional Ethics Committee of ICMR- National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai approved the study which was published in the Journal of Infection on August 17, 2021.

The study advised that the scale and rate of administration of COVID-19 vaccines be increased to alleviate possibilities of further waves of the pandemic. Systematic genomic surveillance should be conducted to keep track of any emerging new variants and assess their capabilities to escape immunity or vaccine protection.

COVID-19 Delta variant: ICMR Study – Key findings

•The prevalence of Delta variant or B.1.617.2 of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not different among the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.

•The progression of the infection among the vaccinated group was slow as well as the mortality rate was also low.

•Breakthrough COVID-19 infections (post-vaccine infections) in fully vaccinated people have been reported in India during the second wave of the pandemic due to the emergence of the Delta variant that showed capabilities of escaping the immune response.

•Non-pharmaceutical interventions must be carried out to reduce the transmission of the infection.

Delta variant major cause for ‘breakthrough infections’ in fully vaccinated people: INSACOG

•Meanwhile, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) also in its August issue said that the breakthrough COVID-19 infections in fully vaccinated people have been mostly caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

•INSACOG further said that the Delta variant is a major Variant of Concern (VOC) in India and noted that vaccination reduces the severity of the infection as well as decreases the rate of mortality.

•The consortium noted that since April 2021, the UK with a population of 6.7 crores reported approximately 18 lakh cases and 1.2 lakh cases of breakthrough infections due to Delta variant among fully vaccinated people. Hence, breakthrough COVID-19 infections in fully vaccinated people are a common trend during the Delta variant outbreaks and are expected in India as well.

•Investigations into any new variants of COVID-19 are underway owing to the rising concern due to increasing breakthrough COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated people.

•INSACOG, the consortium of 10 National Laboratories established by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, works on conducting genomic sequencing and analysis of COVID-19, assesses epidemiological trends with emerging variants of coronavirus.

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