NEW DELHI, April 12: The Covid-19 vaccines protect against serious illness but transmissibility can still continue and inoculated people can pass on the infection to others, say scientists, warning against complacency in those who stop maintaining protocol after they get their jabs.
Transmissibility from vaccinated persons can be a risk factor until global coverage is achieved, top experts said as India’s Covid numbers escalated sharply, reaching 1,35,27,717 (1.35 crore/13,5 million) with 1,68,912 new cases on Monday to make it the country with the second highest number of cases after the US.
Vaccination is simply one of the many different strategies we have to deal with in the pandemic. However, it is not a magical one-stop solution, immunologist Satyajit Rath, from the New Delhi’s National Institute of Immunology, said.
None of the vaccines currently available provide protection against transmission of the virus. Statistically speaking, infection post-vaccination is likely to be milder than one without, added Vineeta Bal, an immunologist from Pune’s Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research.
As researchers around the world try and figure out how well Covid-19 vaccines prevent vaccinated people from transmitting the virus to others, the experts stressed on the need for masks and physical distance regardless of the vaccination status. This has to continue until the majority of people are vaccinated.
The scientists also batted for universal vaccination, saying it would provide strong community resistance to severe local outbreaks.
Cautioning against lowering of the guard even after vaccination, they said some people who get inoculated early may lose their immunological memory over a period of time and become vulnerable again.
Vaccination remains an individual protection, not a community protection, until we achieve almost global vaccination coverage. It is possible that vaccine-resistant virus variants will emerge, necessitating steady watchfulness and the rapid development-deployment of next-generation vaccines, Rath said. – PTI