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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 36-40

Breakthrough infection with SARS-CoV-2 delta variant in old-age homes in a Southern District of Kerala, India

1 Junior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
2 Director, Institute of Advanced Virology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
3 Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
4 Assistant Surgeon, Department of Health Services, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Kannamkottapilly Chandrasekharan Prajitha
ICMR-NIMR, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.ijph_1084_22

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Background: The incidence of breakthrough infection with the emergence of new variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 is posing a threat, and it is pertinent to understand the role of vaccines in protecting the elderly and people with comorbidities. Objective: The present study was undertaken to understand the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a closed cohort of the elderly population in an old-age home who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination. The study has also undertaken genomic sequencing to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern from an academic perspective. Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted from March to August 2021 among residents of 11 old-age homes in Kerala who were vaccinated with 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, from 2 weeks following vaccination. Samples with a threshold cycle value of <25 were subjected to targeted sequencing of the spike protein receptor-binding domain coding region. Results: Among the 479 vaccinated individuals, 86 (17.95%) turned positive during the follow-up period. The mean duration of symptoms was 3–5 days, and no hospitalization was required. A phylogenetic analysis of the nucleotide sequences from the samples indicated B.1.617.2 lineage representing the Delta strain. Conclusion: The evidence supports maximizing the vaccine coverage among vulnerable groups to prevent hospitalization and death rate on the verge of the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

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