What is “Breakthrough Infection”?

What is the News? The union health ministry has said that the breakthrough infection rate is low for both Covaxin and Covishield vaccines.

What is it?
  • Breakthrough infection is a case of illness in which a vaccinated individual becomes sick from the same disease for which the vaccine was administered.
  • Simply, it occurs when vaccines fail to provide immunity against the pathogen they are designed to target.
Possible Reasons for Breakthrough Infections:
  • India’s healthcare and frontline workers were on the priority list for vaccination during the first phase. They were always prone to more occupational exposure to the coronavirus disease.
  • The second wave of Covid-19 is highly transmissible, it might also have contributed to the breakthrough infection rates.
India’s Breakthrough Infections Data:
  • Covishield: After the first dose two per 10,000 people get reinfected and after the second dose, three per 10,000 people get reinfected.
  • Covaxin: After the first dose four per 10,000 people get reinfected after the number remains the same for the second dose too.
  • This type of Infections are mostly mild or asymptomatic because the individuals still have partial protection.
Concerns:
  • According to a US study, people with no symptoms transmit more than half of all cases. This means that controlling this silent transmission from persons without symptoms is very important for controlling the pandemic.
  • Hence, it is very possible that an asymptomatic breakthrough infection can result in the further spread of the disease in the community.
  • This happens especially because people may become careless following vaccination and many such infections are asymptomatic.

Source: The Hindu

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