Karnataka Virologist Says Covid-19 Vaccines Effective For At least 1 Year

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A Karnataka-based virologist has said that the effectiveness of existing Covid-19 vaccines will last for a minimum of one year.

According to a report in The Times of India, speaking at a webinar, Dr V Ravi said that available evidence suggests that "vaccinated persons would get protection for two to three years" if more troubling variants don't emerge.

"Vaccinated persons would get protection for two to three years if there are no further variants of concern after one year," Dr Ravi said during a webinar, 'Covid – 3rd Wave, Vaccination and Protection', organised by the Women Journalists' Association.

Dr Ravi, who is a member of the state Covid task force committee, also stressed on the need to identify new coronavirus variants by processing of a portion of Covid positive swab samples for genetic sequencing, the report said.

He said that a third wave in India was inevitable. "Last year, many were in denial mode, saying India will not have a second wave because of 'Indians' immunity'. In reality, India is going through the second wave.

Further research is required to determine the exact duration of vaccines' effectiveness. Dr Ravi believes regular processing of a portion of Covid positive swab samples for genetic sequencing will help identify new coronavirus variants. The double mutant variants' B. 1.617.1' and 'B.1.617.2' have been found in 26 per cent of the 933 samples processed for genomic sequencing in Karnataka so far, he added.

Stressing that every previous pandemic had multiple waves, Dr Ravi said that a third wave was inevitable in the country and preparations must begin to tackle it. "Last year, many were in denial mode, saying India will not have a second wave because of 'Indians' immunity'. In reality, India is going through the second wave. We need to be prepared now. European countries are going through the third wave and the US is witnessing the initial phase of the fourth wave," he was quoted as saying by TOI.

On Friday, the seven-day average of daily Covid-19 cases in India has decreased to half the number in just three weeks from the peak of infections recorded on May 8. The seven-day average fell below 2-lakh on Saturday and stood at 1,95,183, almost exactly 50 percent during the peak when it was at 3,91,263.

The 50 percent reduction in weekly cases during the second wave took half the time as compared to the first wave in the country, a Times of India report said.

However, the daily death toll didn't follow the downward curve yet. The seven-day average of daily deaths hit a high of 4,040 on May 16. The count currently stands at 3,324. The daily deaths are yet to drop below 3,000 mark.

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