The first analysis that will show the impact of immunisation against Covid-19 is expected in a few weeks, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chief Dr NK Arora said on Saturday as efforts to harmonise the data are ramped up by the group to study the efficacy of all vaccines being administered across the country and chances of reinfection, including the fatality rate post-vaccination.
The new vaccine platform that will collate three different data sets — Covid-19 test results, breakthrough infections as well as their severity, and vaccination numbers across the population — will be able to determine trends regarding chances of reinfection post-immunisation (after both the first and the second dose) and even the efficacy of different vaccines. This platform will be coordinated and managed by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). The analysis done on the platform will also help determine the efficacy of a single shot of the vaccine.
“The platform will monitor the impact of immunisation on the Covid pandemic,” Arora said. “It will help us assess what is the risk of getting a Covid infection post the first dose and the second dose and the severity of the infection. It will help assess not only the risk of being hospitalised, but also the fatality rate in such cases.”
According to Arora, the need to assess and harmonise the three sets of data started taking concrete shape in early April. The platform, which is being developed along with the health ministry and ministry of electronics and information technology, will be accessible to the public.
“The attempt is to put out regular bulletins on the platform. This will help everyone understand the impact of the pandemic in a transparent manner,” he said.
The data will be sourced from ICMR and will include Covid reports, the CoWIN platform, vaccination numbers, and Aarogya Setu, which will provide location and other demographics such as age and gender. Data for over 300 million RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests will be collated with that of over 190 million users of Aarogya Setu and further contrasted with the 220 million vaccination doses administered across the country.
“An analysis will be done for all vaccines being administered in the country,” Arora said. “This is huge data set and in time, will be able to provide meaningful interpretations and can also be implemented for other immunisation programmes.”
The platform will further categorise the chances of reinfection after the first dose and second dose of the vaccine, that is, those who have been partially and fully immunised.
“We are also looking at other determinants to help us understand the other demographic features, such as age, gender and type of vaccine given. We will be doing an analysis for all vaccines being administered in the country and assessing the risk of being hospitalised, severity of the disease and risk of death,” Arora said.
The platform, said Arora, will set the stage for technological interventions in the field of medicine.
“It will be like a dream come true,” he said. “Every health programme, maternity programmes, tuberculosis assessment and other immunisation programmes will be able to benefit from this. This will have a long-term impact on the use of technology and the benefits we can accrue from its use for our health system.”