Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi today released the results of a multicenter study of healthcare workers across India to evaluate the incidence of post-vaccination infections (PVIs). The study that took place over four and a half months, from January 16th to May 30th, 2021, and covered 31,621 healthcare workers who had received either both doses or the first dose only of the Covishield and Covaxin Covid vaccines.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Founder Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “This study reiterates the fact that our mainstay against Covid-19 is mass vaccination. Vaccines are not only safe, but they also help prevent severe manifestations of Covid-19 and will help save lives. The results of this large study across India make for a compelling case for citizens above the age of 18 to come forth and get vaccinated in order for us as a country to tide over the Covid-19 crisis”.“With greater availability of the vaccines in the coming weeks, the number of vaccines administered each day should increase. We should aim, to vaccinate 5 million Indians per day consistently. The main conclusions from the study are that post-vaccination infections are usually minor and vaccination helps to prevent severe infection, ICU admissions, and death”, Dr Reddy added.
Speaking on the details of the study, Dr. K Hariprasad, President – Hospitals Division, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “This is one of the largest cohorts of vaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs) analyzed in the country, so far. The 31,621 HCWs covered under the study were from 43 units of the Apollo Hospitals group across 24 cities in the country. The HCWs covered various categories including doctors, nursing, paramedical as well as support and administrative staff. We thank them for participating in this study, which has helped highlight the role of vaccines in our fight against Covid-19”. “While the study emphasizes the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are effective, it is important to continue with COVID safe behavior even when fully vaccinated such as wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, maintaining appropriate social distance, and avoiding crowds” added Dr Hariprasad.
Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The results showed that COVID vaccines provided protection in more than 95% of the recipients and that post-vaccination infection (PVI) occurred in only 4.28% (1355 / 31621) of the vaccinated healthcare workers. The finding also showed only 90 cases or 0.28% (90 / 31621) of cases required hospitalization, with only three cases 0.009% (3/31621) requiring ICU admission. The most important finding of the study was that there were no deaths in case of COVID infection after vaccination”. “Covishield was administered to 28,918 HCWs (91.45%), while 2703 (8.55%) received Covaxin. 25,907 or 81.9% HCWs were fully vaccinated, having received both doses of the vaccine, while 5,714 or 18.1% had received only the first dose. Out of the fully vaccinated workers, 1061 or 4.09% reported post-vaccination infections, while 294 or 5.14% of the partly vaccinated workers tested positive”, Dr Sibal added.
Dr. Raju Vaishya, Senior Consultant Orthopedics and Joint Replacement Surgeon and one of the key authors of the study, said, “Of the 90 cases who required hospitalization, 48 were males and 42 were females with the majority i.e., 83 cases being below 50 years of age. Of the 3 ICU admissions, 2 were males and 1 was female, between the ages of 25 to 39 years, with 2 fully vaccinated and 1 partially vaccinated. The incidence of PVI in those who had been administered Covishield was 4.32% and in those who had received Covaxin was 3.85”%. The findings of the study are under consideration for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
“The majority of infections occurred after two weeks of the last vaccination dose, at an average of 6 weeks. 43.6 % of infections occurred in HCWs below the age of 30 and 35.42 % in those in the 31 – 40 year age group. This study period covered the second wave and the maximum infections occurred in April and May 2021. Despite the high infection rate in the community during this period, the vaccinated HCWs were protected.” said Mr. SV Kiran, Senior Vice President & Head – Human Resources, Hospitals Division, Apollo Hospitals Group