Despite second Covid vaccine dose, Bengaluru healthcare workers tested positive

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At a time when vaccination is considered as a silver bullet against the novel Coronavirus, uncertainty has come once again as healthcare workers and other personnel have been contracted Covid-19 positive post administration of the second dose of the vaccine.

This has been observed with the healthcare workers at the Bengaluru Medical College Research Institute (BMCRI) which has been the case for a dozen MBBS students who tested Covid-19 positive on the campus though vaccinated with the second dose, said Dr Smiha Segu, nodal officer.

She said, “None of the index cases had a travel history. They were tested after they developed symptoms. Subsequent testing of other students at the BMCRI hostel found 13 positive cases. Some of the students had recently been vaccinated.” All the positive students are under isolation put up in individual hostel rooms.

Another officer revealed the cases have been identified in other medical colleges. The source said, “Some colleges have reported between 10 and 12 cases,” giving an alert warning about the Covid-19 to be transmitted from the medical students to their friends in other domain such as engineering.

The source added, “We are at an inflection point because colleges are conducting exams at physical locations. A chunk of the daily cases being reported every day are college students.”

Officially, there is no data about the problem, but figures reveal around 3.48 healthcare workers have received the second dose of the vaccine. As per the government sources, about two dozen cases are registered.

As per the Private Hospitals and Nursing Home’s Association (PHANA), the infections have become common. Dr Prasanna H M, President of PHANA said, “There are many cases being reported to us, to the point that on Saturday, we asked the government to start an awareness campaign informing healthcare workers about the limitations of the vaccine.”

“All Covid vaccines authorised for human use only guarantee protection against severe disease and death. They do not protect against infection,” said virologist Dr V Ravi.

Dr C N Manjunath, director, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research concluded that this is a definite instance of Peltzman Syndrome. The phenomenon is about how the people react to safety measures when there is a compensatory increase in the risky behaviour.

Two nurses were infected at Jayadeva after a fortnight of receiving the second dose. Dr Manjunatha said, “We think the nurses contracted the disease while outside or from their families. They were tested after they developed symptoms of the disease. However, the severity of infection was less.”

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