BHUBANESWAR: Even nearly four months after the largest vaccination programme for Covid-19 commenced in Odisha, the State lacks a proper mechanism to collect data on the vaccination status of people who are testing positive.
At present, a staff from district RRT calls a person who has tested positive and asks whether he/she has been administered the vaccine and when. Health experts believe the vaccination status data would be useful for research and generating awareness among people. They said vaccination and symptom-specific data should be collected during the collection of samples at health facilities or camps. It will not only help in deciding treatment protocol, in case a person tests positive but also break the transmission if the infected person is isolated on time.
Community medicine expert and principal investigator for Covaxin vaccine Dr E Venkata Rao said at least information on five things should be collected from a person at the time of sample collection for Covid tests. “The team collecting samples should ask and prepare a chart on vaccination status, whether single or double dose, symptoms, the duration between the date of vaccination and onset of symptoms, previous treatment history, and mask use,” he said.
Even if it can be collected in printed proforma, Dr Rao said, the government can develop a mobile app for the purpose. If the Centre can develop CoWIN for streamlining vaccination, why cannot a State develop a similar platform to keep record of testing and vaccination data?” he asked. “Several countries have produced a number of research papers after the first wave. Have we got anyone? No, because we lack data. This is why data is necessary and the future developments are based on data,” he said.
Health officials claimed data is available on people who have succumbed post-vaccination and the districts have been asked to collect data on vaccination status from people who have tested positive. Director of Family Welfare Dr Bijay Panigrahi said 13 persons including a maximum of three from Puri have died after vaccination. “But the deaths are not related to vaccines. We will compile the data on people testing positive after inoculation once districts submit information,” he added.
161 test positive after inoculation
So far, 149 people, including 130 asymptomatic were found positive after taking Covishield and 12, including seven asymptomatic, after receiving Covaxin. As many as 83 among Covishield receivers and four among Covaxin vaccinated people have been detected positive after two doses.