More than 40,000 cases of breakthrough infection - where the patient contracted the virus after vaccination - have been detected in Kerala, sources in the Union Home Ministry have told NDTV. Instances of infection after vaccination elsewhere in the nation and abroad have been rare. The spike in breakthrough infection in the state, which has been suffering a resurgence of the virus, has opened up questions about how the immunity escape is happening, sources said.
The Central government has asked Kerala to provide samples to detect the genomic sequence in all cases of breakthrough infections to figure out if there has been a mutation, sources told NDTV.
A mutation always drives a fresh wave of infection -- as was seen during the second wave of Covid earlier this year, when Delta variant of the virus had been dominant. Since the second wave abated, the authorities have been alert about the possibility of emergence of new variants.
"Such large numbers of breakthrough infections is a matter of great concern for the Ministry of Health," sources told NDTV.
Cases of re-infection - a second infection - have also been recorded in some districts, sources said.
The maximum number of breakthrough infections has been seen in Pathnamthitta district. Sources said among those infected are people who have received both doses of the vaccine.
So far, 14,974 people have been infected after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. The rate of infections after the second dose is lower -- 5,042 people who received the second dose of the virus have been infected.
Kerala has been reporting over 20,000 cases daily for past few weeks, with a dip seen yesterday, when it reported 13,049 cases and 105 deaths. The state today reported 21,119 cases and 152 deaths.