Dr. Debdatta Dhar Chanda tests positive despite two doses; "Don't lower the guard even after vaccination," she says
With the second wave of the new mutated strain of coronavirus affecting the entire nation, contributing more to its fatality list as compared to last year, it’s quite natural that the common people would desperately look for a cure to protect themselves from the deadly virus. Even though India has already started its vaccination drive throughout the country, starting from frontline workers and health officials initially to later include common people as well, the vaccine is not a full-proof shield against the Covid-19 virus as opposed to the common notion of ‘cure’.
In fact, in the last one month itself, several cases of people testing covid positive even after getting vaccinated has come to the fore. According to an ICMR report, out of 11.6 crores of Covishield vaccine administered till April this year, 22,159 of them have contracted the covid infection either after the first dosage or after the second dosage. Similarly, out of 1.1 crores of Covaxin doses administered till April, 4,903 of them have also contracted the virus either after the first dosage or the second dosage.
Though the infection rate is quite low (0.02% – 0.04%) among people getting vaccinated, it’s still not a 100% effective tool to safeguard oneself against Covid-19. In the Cachar district, the Silchar Medical College & Hospital (SMCH) has been fighting the covid battle since last year and has assisted innumerable covid patients of the valley in their treatment and recovery. Dr. Debadatta Dhar Chanda, in-charge of the covid testing unit at the SMCH, is one such frontline worker who has been risking her life day in day out since the pandemic started last year to dedicate herself to fighting the covid battle. Yesterday, it was discovered that Dr. Debadatta Dhar Chanda has tested covid positive, even though she already got vaccinated last month. “Yes, I’ve tested Covid positive but as it’s mostly asymptomatic, hence I’ve isolated myself to get treated and recover as soon as possible”, said Dr. Chanda who had already completed both doses of vaccine.
While speaking to Barak Bulletin, Dr. Debadatta Dhar Chanda emphasised the point that even though every one of us should get vaccinated to protect ourselves from the dangers of this virus, one still can’t afford to let his/her guard down at any cost. She said, “Yes, vaccination is important. But people should also be aware of the fact that no covid vaccine is 100% effective till now. The virus is rapidly mutating and new variants have emerged which are thought to have some affect on vaccine efficacy. There will still be a minor chance of one getting infected even after getting vaccinated, as you’ve already seen in the past few weeks. Although the infection rate among the ones getting vaccinated is quite low (2-4 cases per 10,000), still we can’t take any risk and should follow all the covid protocols even after getting vaccinated.” Dr. Chanda had been working extensively round the clock since last year in the covid testing unit to assist and treat the Covid infected patients at Silchar Medical College & Hospital.
Dr. Debadatta Dhar Chanda reckons that she must’ve contracted the virus from her workplace as her Research Scientist too had tested positive. Further adding, she said, “People should get rid of this idea that getting vaccinated would make them invincible against the Covid-19 virus. No, it is not 100% guaranteed that if exposed to the virus, the vaccine would protect you. What the vaccine does is it makes your body stronger in fighting the effects of the virus, so if a person gets vaccinated, and then in near future gets infected with the virus, the level of infection would be less than usual that is seen in other patients. So, the usual symptoms would also be lighter than earlier cases. My CT value is 24, which means the infection level is pretty high. Hence, it is of paramount importance that even after getting vaccinated, people should still adhere to Covid protocols to safeguard themselves and their family from the grip of the virus.”
Dr. Debadatta Dhar Chanda opined that another reason why people should be wary of the virus despite getting vaccinated is because of this new mutated strain of the Covid-19. “This new strain of virus is more lethal and spreads faster than its predecessor. As everybody in the medical community is still in the process of learning the true nature of this deadly virus, it is advisable to all that they shouldn’t let their guards down at any moment, vaccine is just a tool to make one better equipped in fighting the virus. For example, most of last year’s covid victims were asymptomatic, but look at this year, more symptomatic cases are coming up which is also increasing the bed load in hospitals.”