COVID-19: WHO guidelines may not be relevant, we need India-based facts and figures, say health experts 

People who have received vaccines are still at risk of Covid-19 infection and must hence follow the appropriate protocol, say, doctors.

Published: 11th November 2021 11:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2021 11:53 AM   |  A+A-

A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Caution is the word even as there is a respite from Covid-19 cases and fatalities. People who have received vaccines are still at risk of Covid-19 infection and must hence follow the appropriate protocol, say, health experts.

"Those who have received vaccines are still at risk of COVID-19 infection and must hence follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Our ICUs have been getting severe cases of breakthrough infection but the mortality is less. They come out of the ventilator," said Dr. Bhuvana Krishna, professor and head, Critical Care Medicine, St. John's Medical College Hospital during the release of a "Handbook on Complete COVID-19 Care" on Tuesday.

The handbook was released by 58 doctors of various specialties and health officials including former Health Commissioner Dr. Thrilok Chandra.

Speaking at the release, Dr. C N Manjunath, director, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences said that in COVID-19 the treatment protocol was constantly evolving throughout the pandemic.

"This book will be a ready reckoner for clinicians, virologists, immunologists, vaccinologists and postgraduates. The guidelines released by WHO may not be relevant and we need Indian data as we have our own phenotype and environment," Dr. Manjunath said, adding that the book must be made available in all critical care units.

The foreword of the book has been written by Dr. M K Sudarshan, Chairman of Karnataka's COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee along with Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospital and Dr. Rajesh Mishra, president-elect, Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine. 

Prior to the release of the book, a panel of doctors discussed breakthrough infections, vaccines, and variants of concern, mixing of vaccines, booster doses, and complications of COVID-19 vaccines. The panelists include Dr Bhuvana Krishna.

The panelists clarified that an 80 percent vaccine efficacy means that the chance of infection is reduced by 80 percent in those who are vaccinated.

As for the mixing of vaccines, studies have only been done on mixing AstraZeneca and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines, which report benefits. Studies on the mixing of Covaxin and Covishield are still ongoing, said Dr. Neha Mishra, consultant, Infectious Diseases, Manipal Hospitals, adding that this is still a grey area. 

With respect to pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Archana M, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Manipal Hospitals said that data is not yet publicly available on Covaxin trials.

"However, some data shows that side effects are minor. Once it comes into the market, we will know of any serious side effects. Myocarditis was seen in adolescent boys who took Moderna and Pfizer. There was a fear of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children who get the jab but so far no such case has been reported," Dr. Archana said. 


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