The fight against COVID-19 is continuing and new variants like Omicron are a major cause of concern at this point of time. With thousands of cases being reported in India daily, the third wave of this pandemic has arrived, and we are slowly moving towards severe restrictions including partial lockdowns over weekends, sparse gatherings at restaurants, weddings and other social events.
This particular new variant Omicron and delta cases are still prevalent across the world, with everyone wondering on why fully vaccinated individuals too are getting affected by the virus. Does it mean that vaccines are proving to be ineffective against preventing the virus?
Nope. There is no doubt that the vaccines against COVID-19, be it Covishield or Covaxin are incredibly effective vaccines. They were introduced to the public only after conducting multiple trials with a proven efficacy of more than 80 per cent. However, one should understand that no vaccine can completely shield us against virus mutations but can certainly provide significant level of protection from the complications even if you are infected.
In other words, not everyone who received double doses of vaccine are immune to virus, but the body is well-prepared to fight it, if infected.
How Common Are Breakthrough Infections?
The scientists across the world are keenly watching on how prevalent breakthrough infections are and the impact it has on the fully vaccinated individuals. The initial data suggests that older adults, those suffering from comorbid conditions, with compromised immunity are at a greater risk of breakout infections when compared to healthy individuals.
It is also observed that those who let the guard down – like not using facemasks, ignoring other covid protocols like frequent hand sanitization, maintaining social distancing are also getting infected as a faster pace.
Even With Vaccine, I Can Still Get COVID-19. Why Should I Go For The Jab?
Well, for starters the health complications caused due to this pandemic will be less severe. They not only protect you significantly from the disease but also reduce the rate of transmission from one person to another. According to Dr Katherine O’Brien of World Health Organization, vaccines work in various ways. “The first is they can protect you against getting infected at all. The second way that they work is if you become infected, you're actually shedding that virus for a shorter period of time than if you weren't vaccinated. And the third way that vaccines work is, again, if you happen to get infected, the amount of virus that you have in your nose, in the back of your throat that you are shedding and potentially transmitting to somebody is less of the virus. There's less density of the virus in you and so less risk that you transmit it to somebody else,” she says.
I Am Fully Vaccinated. Should I Still Follow All COVID-19 Protocols?
Absolutely. Without fail. Do adhere to all precautionary measures. If you have an elderly family member eligible for a precautionary shot, get it done. The vaccination drive for teenagers aged between 15 to 18 is now on full swing and it’s time for them to get inoculated too.