Andhra Pradesh

Doctors stress strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour

The emergence of breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people is a cause for concern, says expert.  

At a time when the corona curve is inching close to the flattening stage in the city, the detection of a new and more dangerous variant, B. 1.1.529, in South Africa, sounds the alarm bells, keeping the third wave threat alive.

When contacted, experts, however, expressed divergent views on the possibility of the third wave hitting India. While no one is sure whether the third wave ‘will’ or ‘will not’ affect India, all doctors suggest continuation of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour at least till the entire population is vaccinated.

“The third wave has spread across Europe and some nations have even reported the fourth wave. The case load is high even in the USA. This could be due to their reluctance to get vaccinated and opposing restrictions on their movement,” says S.N.R. Naveen, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Andhra Medical College (AMC), quoting the findings of a study conducted in the U.S.A.

“The study has pointed out that despite being well-educated there is vaccine-resistance among the people to the extent that they are ready to quit their jobs rather than take the jab. On the contrary, there was no vaccine-resistance or opposition to lockdown in India,” he says.

“Though there was some initial vaccine-hesitancy among our people, they fell in line within no time, and after the second wave, there was a scramble to take the shot in India. Now, parents are eagerly waiting o get their children, below 18 years of age, vaccinated,” says Dr. Naveen.

“The rising number of cases in Europe and the USA, and now the detection of the new B.1.1.529 variant is a cause for concern. England has banned entry of people from South Africa into its territory. Compared to Europe and the USA, the vaccine coverage is less in India,” says K. Rambabu, Director of the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS).

Recalling his experience in dealing with COVID-19 affected patients, Dr. Rambabu says, “I have seen that previously infected patients have a much lower risk compared to those who have received both doses. This ‘innate immunity’ seems to be protecting recovered patients much better than vaccinated persons.” “Though the chances of a third wave in India are minimal. If the virus becomes endemic and confines to a few places, the chances of a third wave can be ruled out in India,” says Dr. Rambabu.

“The threat of the third wave can be averted, if our people are fully vaccinated. The completion of the second dose before the Sankranti festival, can go a long way in checking spread of the virus,” says P.V. Sudhakar, Principal, Andhra Medical College. The emergence of breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people is a cause for concern. “The government may take a decision on administering booster dose, based on the breakthrough infections,” adds Dr. Sudhakar.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:45:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/doctors-stress-strict-adherence-to-covid-appropriate-behaviour/article37743591.ece

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