The findings come at a time when there are several reports coming of people testing positive for covid-19 despite receiving both shots of the available vaccines and efficacy of the vaccines is being called into question at some level
Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the percentage of people who have been infected by the coronavirus after being vaccinated is not more than 0.04%.
“Getting infection after vaccination is known as breakthrough infection. 2-4 per 10,000 breakthrough infections have occurred, which is a very small number," Dr Balram Bhargava, secretary, department of health research and director-general of ICMR, told reporters on Wednesday.
The ICMR chief said that out of the around 11 million recipients who were administered Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, at least 4,208 (0.04%) were found to be infected after the first dose, and 695 (0.04%) contracted the covid-19 after receiving the second dose.
Similarly, of the 116 million people given Serum Institute’s Covishield, at least 17,145 (0.02%) tested positive for covid-19 after receiving the first dose, and 5,014 (0.03%) were found to be infected with covid-19 after receiving the second dose.
“Those who were tested positive after receiving the doses were mostly frontline workers and healthcare workers. This category was the first to be vaccinated, and they are prone to more occupational exposure," Bhargava said, adding that the current highly transmissible second wave of covid-19 might also have contributed to the breakthrough infection rates.
The total vaccinations across the country have crossed more than 132.2 million on Wednesday, with more than 2.12 million vaccine doses administered till 8pm. Public health experts have said that even after completing two doses, recipients should adopt covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
“The vaccine prevents you from getting the disease in the form of severe illness. It may not prevent you from getting the infection. It’s important to understand that even after the vaccine, we may have a positive report. That is why it is important to wear a mask even after getting the vaccine," said Dr Randeep Guleria, director at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.