Singapore — In an article in the Straits Times (ST) on Monday (Jun 28), the director of the NCID is quoted as saying that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can still get infected with the virus and pass it on to others, but they generally will not come down with a serious disease.
National Centre for Infectious Diseases National Public Health Laboratory, Associate Professor Raymond Lin, told ST that this is based on what the NCID has observed from the serology test results of people who have had Covid.
Infections in people who have been vaccinated are called breakthrough cases.
“Defining vaccine breakthroughs will help us study how often (such cases) occur, whether they can transmit infection, whether they develop severe disease, and whether new variants infect vaccinated subjects more easily,” Prof Lin said.
“So far, we observe that some infected but vaccinated subjects may transmit the virus to others. Generally, vaccinated subjects do not develop severe disease when they are infected.”
Serology tests show the level of antibodies, a protein component produced by the immune system to fight infections. They can also tell whether the antibodies are produced because of past infection or if they were produced because of a vaccine.
Studying the results from serology tests help public health officials detect breakthrough infections.
Prof Lin’s statements are in keeping with recent related news from Israel, which has one of the highest numbers of people vaccinated against Covid-19.
Israel has seen a surge in infections driven by the Delta variant that devastated India. Recently, the country has had over 100 new cases daily, the highest it has been since May.
It had just suspended mandatory mask-wearing indoors on Jun 15, when its daily numbers went down to single digits.
According to Prof Chezy Levy, the director-general of Israel’s health ministry, around 70 per cent of the new infections were caused by the Delta variant.
Prof Levy said that one-third of the infections were detected among those who have been vaccinated, and the cases were not as severe in those who have been unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, AFP reported on Saturday (Jun 26) that over a dozen doctors who were vaccinated against Covid-19 have died, as the country battles a surge in cases.
The country passed the two million mark last week, with rates of hospital occupancy reaching over 75 per cent in Jakarta and other cities.
An Indonesian medical association said that almost 1000 health workers have died of Covid since the pandemic began. This included 401 doctors, among whom 14 had been fully vaccinated.
AFP noted that the rise of vaccinated individuals who have suffered severe Covid has caused questions as to how effective Sinovac, a vaccine produced by China is. Indonesia has relied heavily on Sinovac for vaccinating its population. /TISG
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