99.3% vaccine effectiveness seen in those who took both doses: Union Health Min

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Mansukh Mandaviya cited the data from India’s COVID-19 Tracker, which depicted the ability of vaccines to reduce death.
Health workers with a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
Health workers with a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
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Vaccine effectiveness of 99.3% has been seen in individuals fully inoculated against coronavirus according to the data uploaded on India COVID-19 Tracker till January 2, the Lok Sabha was told on Friday, January 4. Responding to a question, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed the India COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, by merging mainly three national databases — CoWIN, National COVID-19 Testing database and COVID-19 India portal.

The tracker depicts vaccine effectiveness against death — the ability of vaccines to reduce death — using person time analysis from April 12, 2021 to January 2, 2022. "The tracker is updated periodically and displays the effectiveness of partial and full vaccination against COVID-19. The latest data analysed and uploaded till January 2, 2022 depicts vaccine effectiveness of 99.3% in fully vaccinated individuals against COVID-19," Mandaviya said in a written reply.

The data is analysed and presented as per the reports submitted by respective state governments. The Omicron variant is the dominant variant in the country presently. Whole genome sequencing for the Omicron variant is done for all RTPCR positive samples from international travellers arriving since November 28, 2021. Further, for in-country sequencing RT-PCR positive samples having CT-value of less than 25 are referred from sentinel sites in various states regularly, Mandaviya said.

“The Government of India has been supporting states in their endeavour to manage COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Given the emergence of mutated variants with variable impact on transmissibility, virulence and effectiveness of vaccines, likelihood of resurgence of COVID-19 trajectory in the country is monitored by various expert committees under Indian Council of Medical Research, Directorate General of Health Services and other relevant Ministries/Departments,” he said.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare continues to keep a close watch over COVID-19 situation across the country and globally, the minister said. The Ministry of Health vide letter dated June 28, 2021 has circulated to all states and Union Territories guiding principles for imposition of restrictions or allowing relaxation in context of coronavirus based on COVID-19 testing confirmation rates and hospital bed occupancy rates. This has been reiterated by Ministry of Home Affairs under Disaster Management Act, 2005 vide order dated June 29, 2021, Mandaviya said.

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