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Delta variant affects both vaccinated, unvaccinated people: ICMR study

Chennai: Researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Chennai have demonstrated that the Delta variant of Coronavirus can infect both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, though it reduces mortality among the former group. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of the ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, and published in the Journal of Infection on August 17.

According to the study findings, B.1.617.2 prevalence did not differ between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. One of the primary drivers of the second wave of SARS-CoV-2 in India was the Delta variant. ‘B.1.617.2 has the potential to infect both the vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. However, the progression of illness seems to be prevented by vaccination. Therefore, non-pharmaceutical interventions must continue to slow down the transmission,’ the report said.

The pace and scale of vaccination must be increased to mitigate further waves of the pandemic. A systematic genomic surveillance is needed to track the emergence of newer variants and assess their ability to evade infection/vaccine-induced immunity, it said.

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ICMR study highlights:

In India, SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported during the second wave of COVID-19.

There was no difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups in prevalence of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

In the vaccinated group, COVID-19 cases progressed to milder illness, and deaths were lower than in the unvaccinated group.

In the meantime, INSACOG, the consortium for identifying mutations in COVID19, has reported that infections in fully vaccinated people in India were mostly caused by the Delta variant. The report indicated that the Delta variant remains the major Variant of Concern (VOC) in India at this time, while investigations for any new variants are still ongoing.


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