Dental Tribune India

Indian dentists: Did vaccination reduce positivity rate during second wave?

By Dr. Divyesh Mundra
July 11, 2021

India’s first study to assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing infection among dental practitioners during the second wave of the pandemic in India got published by 4 senior academics- 3 senior specialist dentists (oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oral pathologist, public health dentist) and Community Medicine specialist from ESIC Dental College, New Delhi and SGT University, Gurugram, Haryana respectively.

Study objectives:

Primary: To assess whether vaccination against the SARS-COV-2 virus has helped to reduce the positivity rate amongst dentists during the second wave

Secondary: To assess whether

  1. Vaccination protects against COVID-19 across all age groups
  2. Vaccination leads to less severe symptoms in vaccinated persons
  3. 2 dose of vaccine leads to less severe symptoms compared to 1 dose
  4. Single-dose of vaccine is as effective as the two-dose regime in preventing COVID-19 infection
  5. The vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 in persons with comorbidities
  6. COVISHIELD is more effective than COVAXIN in preventing infection or vice versa

 

Methodology:

Sample Size (N): 4,493 dentists from 26 states & 7 Union Territories (UT’s) across India

Study Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire-based online survey

Time Duration: 29 April – 1 May 2021

 

State and UT-wise distribution of Respondents

No. Region-wise Total: 4493
1 West 1953 (43.5%)
2 South 1255 (28%)
3 North 611 (13.6%)
4 East + Centre 288 (6.4%)
5 Union Territories (UT) 268 (6%)
6 North East 118 (2.6%)

 

No. West Total: 1953
 1 Maharashtra 1495
2 Gujarat 367
3 Rajasthan 82
4 Goa 9
No. South Total: 1255
1 Karnataka 587
2 Andhra Pradesh (AP) 265
3 Telangana 215
4 Tamil Nadu (TN) 95
5 Kerala 93
No. North Total: 611
1 Uttar Pradesh (UP) 322
2 Punjab 135
3 Haryana 97
4 Bihar 22
5 Himachal Pradesh (HP) 19
6 Uttarakhand 16
No. East + Centre Total: 288
1 West Bengal (WB) 149
2 Madhya Pradesh (MP) 49
3 Jharkhand 47
4 Chhattisgarh 33
5 Odisha 10
No. Union Territory (UT) Total: 268
1 New Delhi 200
2 Chandigarh 41
3 Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) 13
4 Puducherry 10
5 Lakshadweep 2
6 Andaman & Nicobar Islands 1
7 Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1
No. North East (NE) Total: 118
1 Tripura 89
2 Sikkim 14
3 Assam 8
4 Meghalaya 4
5 Arunachal Pradesh 2
6 Mizoram 1

 

Age-wise Distribution

74% of dentists were below 45 years

Age Range Total: 4493
25-35 years 1719 (38%)
35-45 years 1625 (36%)
45-55 years 888 (20%)
55-65 years 192 (4.3%)
65-75 years 64 (1.4%)
75-85 years 5 (0.3%)

 

Age-wise Distribution of Co-morbidities

  • 81% of dentists had no co-morbidities
  • No comorbidities: 80% were below 45 years
Age Range Comorbidities No comorbidities
Below 45 years 425 2919
Above 45 years 425 724
Total – 4,493 850 (19%) 3643 (81%)

Results/Findings:

  1. Whether Vaccine protects against COVID-19 across ALL age groups
  • Total 88% of dentists were vaccinated with at least 1 dose of either COVISHIELD/COVAXIN
  • 86% (N=2862) of dentists below the age of 45 years were vaccinated
  • 96% (N=1100) dentists above the age of 45 years were vaccinated
Age Range Vaccinated Non-vaccinated
Below 45 years 2862 482
Above 45 years 1100 49
Total – 4,493 3962 (88%) 531 (12%)

 

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination v/s positivity rate
  • 9% of dentists became COVID-19 +VE in spite of taking vaccination
  • 15% of dentists became COVID-19 +VE in the un-vaccinated group
All ages COVID-19 +ve     COVID-19 -ve
Vaccinated 364 3598
Unvaccinated 78 453
Total – 4,493 442 (10%) 4051   (90%)

 

  1. Effectivity of COVISHIELD v/s COVAXIN in preventing COVID-19 infection
  • 5% took Serum Institute’s COVISHIELD, of which 9.5% contracted COVID-19
  • 5% took Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, of which 8.4% contracted COVID-19
Type of Vaccine COVID-19 +ve COVID-19 -ve
Covishield 339 3324
Covaxin 25 274
Total – 3,962  364 (20%) 3598 (80%)


Whether 1 dose of vaccine is as effective as 2 doses in preventing COVID-19 infection

  • 1 dose : 8.2% turned COVID-19 +ve
  • 2 dose : 10% turned COVID-19 +ve
All ages COVID-19 +ve COVID-19 -ve
Dose 1 128 1431
Dose 2 236 2151
Total – 3,962 364 (20%) 3582 (80%)

 

  1. Effect of Vaccine in preventing COVID-19 in persons with comorbidities
  • Without comorbidities: 10% became COVID-19 positive
  • With comorbidities: 8% became COVID-19 positive

 

All ages COVID-19 +VE COVID-19 -VE
Without comorbidities 370 3273
With comorbidities 72 778
Total – 4,493 442 (10%) 4,051 (90%)

 

  1. Whether vaccination leads to less severe symptoms in vaccinated persons
  • In vaccinated group : 82% Mild & 16% Moderate
  • In non-vaccinated group : 79% Mild & 21% Moderate
All ages Mild symptoms Moderate/Severe
Vaccinated +ve 286 62
Unvaccinated +ve 56 15
Total – 419 342 (82%) 77 (18%)

 

  1. Whether 2 doses of vaccine leads to less severe symptoms compared to 1 dose
  • Mild symptoms: 84% who received 2 doses of vaccine & 80% who received 1 dose of vaccine
All ages Mild symptoms Moderate/Severe
Dose 1 102 26
Dose 2 184 36
Total – 348 286 (82%) 62 (18%)

 

Conclusion:

  1. Vaccination against the SARS-COV-2 virus has a definitive role to play in reducing the positivity rate amongst dentists during the second wave across all age groups.
  2. A single dose of vaccine seems to be as effective as two doses of vaccine in preventing infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  3. Vaccines seem to be equally effective against infection in dentists with co-morbidities as in healthy dentists.
  4. There is no relation between the type of vaccine administered and the positivity rate among vaccinated dentists.

Reference:

Sanjeev KumarSusmita SaxenaMansi AtriSunil Kumar Chamola; Effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines in preventing infection in dental practitioners – results of a cross-sectional ‘questionnaire-based survey. MedRxiv, 3 June 2021. 

About Dr. Divyesh Mundra:

Dr. Divyesh Mundra (BDS) completed his Masters in Public Health (MPH) Administration from the School of Health Systems Studies (SHSS),  Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. He is a healthcare management professional having 5 years of diverse experience across hospital administration, patient advocacy, public health policy, and implementation of public health programs. Divyesh actively tweets on challenges confronting the Indian healthcare system including medical and dental education.

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