Five vaccinated doctors test positive for COVID-19


Experts say it cannot be linked to vaccination and it takes a while for antibodies to develop

Five doctors in Chamarajanagar have tested positive for COVID-19 even after receiving their first dose of the vaccine.

Out of the seven doctors, who had tested positive in Chamarajanagar during the last four days, five had taken their first dose of the vaccine about a week ago, confirmed health officials. While three doctors had received a jab of Covaxin, the other two had received Covishield.

Their vaccinations were scheduled on different dates between January 18 and 20. The doctors experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19 within days of receiving the vaccine and underwent a test.

Chamarajanagar District Health Officer M.C. Ravi, however, said, “It would be incorrect to say that they had tested positive because of the vaccination.” The vaccine will take anywhere from four to six weeks to develop antibodies. “The doctors may have taken the vaccine when the virus was in incubation period. Some of them showed symptoms the very next day and others showed after two or three days,” Dr. Ravi said.

The second dose of the vaccine is given four weeks after the first dose, said Dr. Ravi, while pointing out that it takes a while after the first dose for antibodies to develop. He said the symptoms of all the doctors, who had tested positive, are mild. He cautioned people against complacency over the guidelines for COVID-19 following the arrival of the vaccine.

V. Ravi, former senior professor and head of neurovirology at NIMHANS, concurred that vaccines cannot be the cause of infection if anyone gets COVID-19 after being vaccinated.

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There could be two possibilities on how they got infected. They may have already been infected and in the incubation period when vaccinated, thereby manifesting symptoms a few days later. Or, they may have got infected as they did not follow COVID-19 precautions, he said. “To check if their source of infection is common, we may have to do genetic sequencing,” he said.

Pointing out that no vaccine provides 100% protection, Dr. V. Ravi said, “The second dose is given 28 days after the first. Immunogenicity develops in a vaccinated person 42 days after the first dose or 14 days after the second.”

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Sagar Biswas

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