HYDERABAD: With the State reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, experts believe that most of these cases are reinfections — people infected earlier are again catching the infection despite taking two doses of the vaccine. Describing this as “normal”, experts are emphasizing on the third precautionary dose. As per the government data, a sizable chunk of the population has taken two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. The sero-survey conducted in January-February this year shows that approximately 92.9 per cent of the population in the State has developed Covid-19 antibodies. In view of this, it seems that most of the people who are getting infected now are actually getting infected for the second or third time.
“The infections we had during the first or second wave were from different variants. There has been evidence that people have had Covid two times with the same variants as well. However, this time, we don’t know whether it is reinfection of the same variant or of different variants,” said Dr Subodh Kandamuthan, director, Dr Kakarala Subba Rao Centre for Healthcare Management at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI).
A study conducted in the United States, published by ‘researchsquare’ reveals that reinfections are not always harmless as we might assume. It might add to the risk of death, hospitalisation and adverse health outcomes. As of now, no such effect has been seen on the Indian population.
Booster dose important for elderly & comorbid
“It’s a recent phenomenon in India and we don’t have such qualitative and data to come to such a concrete conclusion,” said Dr Ranga Reddy Burri, President of Infection Control Academy of India.
“It mostly depends on the factors like environment, age, comorbidity. We have to avoid the reinfection by taking precautionary measures,” he added.
The cases we are seeing now have not developed any severe symptoms, Dr Subodh said. Emphasising on the importance of the precautionary dose, he said that it is extremely important for the elderly citizens and people with comorbidities as the impact of long Covid is harmful for them.
The 18 to 60 age group also needs to take the vaccine as they come in contact with this vulnerable group, experts say.Meanwhile, even though the slots for the third precautionary doses have not yet opened on the Cowin portal, private hospitals like Yashoda and Apollo are accepting walk-ins for the 18 plus population.