New Delhi: Even a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine is effective in preventing deaths, according to an analysis conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Epidemiology (ICMR-NIE).
The analysis, published on 21 June in the peer-reviewed Indian Journal of Medical Research, is titled ‘Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in preventing deaths among high-risk groups in Tamil Nadu, India’. The analysis uses data documented by the Tamil Nadu Police department, which it says has 1,17,524 personnel.
Stating that vaccines’ effectiveness in preventing Covid-19 deaths with one and two doses is 82 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively, the analysis says it is necessary to increase coverage of coronavirus shots, regardless of their type, to reduce mortality in the current as well as future waves of the pandemic.
According to the analysis, between 1 February and 14 May, 32,792 personnel received one dose of the Covid vaccine, while 67,673 received both. A total of 17,059 personnel did not receive even one shot in this window.
The researchers found that 31 Covid-19 deaths were reported among these police personnel between 13 April and 14 May.
“Of these 31 Covid-19 deaths, four had taken two doses of the vaccine, seven had taken one dose, and the rest 20 were unvaccinated,” the study says, without specifying the names of the vaccines taken, or the interval between vaccination and death.
“The incidence of Covid-19 deaths among the vaccinated with zero, one and two doses was 1.17, 0.21 and 0.06 per 1,000 police personnel, respectively,” the study adds.
The five researchers involved in the analysis are Anoop Jaiswal, V. Subbaraj, Jeromie Wesley Vivian Thangaraj, Manoj V. Murhekar and Jayaprakash Muliyil.
While Jaiswal and Subbaraj work at the Tamil Nadu Police department, Thangaraj and Murhekar are with the Department of Epidemiology at ICMR-NIE. Muliyil works at the Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore.
Compared to unvaccinated individuals, the analysis states, “the relative risk of Covid-19 deaths among those receiving one and two doses was 0.18 and 0.05 (per 1,000 personnel), respectively”.
The researchers note that information regarding the real-world effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, especially for severe disease, is currently unavailable in India, adding that “such data would also be useful for addressing the issue of vaccine hesitancy”.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)