Covid-19 vaccines do their job
The vaccines for Covid-19 give protection against infection of the deadly coronavirus and anyone who is jabbed face less severity in case of breakthrough infection, found two different studies by local organisations.
The findings of the studies by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), which were released yesterday, were in line with those of various international journals.
The IEDCR, which went through data from 1,334 Covid-19 patients from May and June aged above 30, found that vaccinated people face lower risks of respiratory problems, hospitalisation and fatality in case of breakthrough infection.
A breakthrough infection is a case of illness in which a vaccinated individual becomes sick from the same illness that the vaccine is meant to prevent.
The BSMMU study found antibodies in 98 percent of the people who received a full dose (two shots spaced eight weeks) of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The findings of the two studies have lent added weight to the government's special vaccination campaign from August 7 for rural and elderly people in the backdrop of an alarming rise in Covid-19 caseload.
With the campaign, the government is hoping to reduce the infection rate and mortality rate in the country, which stands at 12,80,317 and 21,000 respectively as of 8 am yesterday.
The IEDCR study found that 11 percent of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients suffered from breathing difficulties whereas the rate was four percent among those vaccinated.
Of the sample size of 1,334 individuals, 592 were unvaccinated and 306 received two doses of the vaccine.
The hospital admission rate was 23 percent among the unvaccinated and 7 percent among the vaccinated.
Among the unvaccinated Covid-19 patients, 19 required intensive care unit support while only three among the vaccinated needed assistance from the special department of the hospital, according to the study.
Among those unvaccinated who had comorbidities, the hospital admission rate was higher: 32 percent. Despite comorbidities, the hospital admission rate was only 10 percent among those vaccinated.
Only one of the vaccinated patients died, while the number was 17 for the unvaccinated patients.
In this context, the IEDCR urged people to maintain the health and safety rules and take vaccines, which will vastly reduce health risks.
Meanwhile, the BSMMU study found antibodies in 98 percent of the people who got a double dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India called Covishield.
A total of 209 Covid-19 vaccine recipients volunteered for the study titled "Hematological Parameters and Antibody Titre After Vaccination Against SARS-CoV-2", which was led by Sharfuddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of the BSMMU.
The samples -- more than half of which came from healthcare professionals -- were collected between April and July this year.
In most vaccine recipients, the number of antibodies ranged between 300 and 1,000 Au/millilitre of blood.
As many 31 percent of the participants had Covid-19 before vaccination; they had higher levels of antibodies.
Those who have not developed antibodies had underlying health conditions like cancer, Md Salahuddin Shah, co-investigator of the study, told The Daily Star.
"Although the sample size is small, this study suggests that Covid-19 vaccines are efficacious. Our study will partly help policymakers decide on booster doses," said Shah, also the chairman of the haematology department at the BSMMU.
A total of 42 percent of the participants reported side effects after vaccination. The symptoms were mild in all cases.
The study found no relation between the side effects and the number of antibodies after vaccination.