In a strong indication of vaccine effectiveness especially after both doses, statistics with the health department indicate that 92.3% of all persons who succumbed to Covid-19 in government and private hospitals during the second wave had not taken even a single dose of the vaccine.
Of the 2168 Covid-19 deaths between April 24 to July 27, it has been found that 99.5% (2,000 persons) of the deaths were among the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated population.
The partially vaccinated accounted for 7.2% (157 persons) of the deaths and fully vaccinated only 0.51% (11 persons).
Although the vaccination for younger age groups began late this year, the health department found that the deceased included senior citizens, for whom vaccinatio had begun on March 1 but hadn’t received a single dose of the vaccine. The data covers deaths in both public and private hospitals.
State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar told TOI that the statistics are proof that vaccination is “highly effective”.
“This data is the biggest proof for everybody, and that’s why we need to take the vaccine. The pandemic has affected everything from business to schools and work. Vaccination is one of the quickest ways for us to be able to go back to our normal lives,” he said.
With reports that the third wave could hit the country by September, Betodkar said that vaccination will prevent people from getting sick and developing complications from Covid-19. “Every day, there are 10-20 hospital admissions and around two deaths, a majority of which are among the unvaccinated. We don’t want anybody to die when we have vaccines,” he said.
From Measles to TB, there are several good examples of the role vaccination has played in protecting the population over decades.
“The most recent example is polio. We could eradicate it only through vaccination. Here too (polio) there are minimum side effects and the vaccine is being given to children below five years of age,” he said.
He appealed to the people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. “There’s no reason to hesitate and think negatively about the vaccine when there are so many positive results. Our statistics are proof of this,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state came close but has fallen short of meeting its target of administering the first dose of the vaccine to 100% of the eligible population by July 31.
On Saturday 1,57,203 persons (13%) were unvaccinated. A total of 22.6% of the population is fully vaccinated, 64.2% partially vaccinated and 86.8% have taken at least a one dose of the vaccine as on July 31.