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Coronavirus update | Delhi is moving towards herd immunity, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain

The highest percentage of antibodies at 62 percent was found in a South East district, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

February 02, 2021 / 04:54 PM IST
A man wearing a protective face mask reacts as a doctor takes a swab from his nose to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a testing center, during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis - RC2MDG941VC0

A man wearing a protective face mask reacts as a doctor takes a swab from his nose to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a testing center, during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis - RC2MDG941VC0







Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on February 2 that the National Capital "is moving towards herd immunity".

The Delhi Health Minister said at a press conference that as per the results of the latest sero survey, 56 percent of the over 28,000 people whose blood samples were collected have developed antibodies against COVID-19.

So, as per the serological survey conducted in the National Capital in January 2021, over half the population of Delhi is now immune to COVID-19.

The highest percentage of antibodies at 62 percent was found in a South East district, the Delhi Health Minister added.

He said: "COVID: At 62.18 percent, Southwest Delhi district reported maximum seroprevalence, North Delhi (49.09 percent) lowest."

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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A population is deemed to have attained herd immunity if 50 to 60 percent of the people are found to have developed antibodies during a sero-prevalence survey. In the latest survey conducted in Delhi, it was found that almost every second person had had prior exposure to the virus.

This is the fifth serological survey that Delhi has conducted and the seroprevalence results indicate that the National Capital is inching closer towards attaining herd immunity against the novel coronavirus disease.

The first one was done in July 2020 and had revealed that 23 percent of the surveyed population had developed antibodies against COVID-19. The previous serological survey conducted in Delhi in October had revealed that 25.5 percent of the population had COVID-19 antibodies. The September survey had shown seroprevalence in 25.1 percent of the population, while the August survey had found antibodies in 29.1 percent of Delhi’s population.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here



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first published: Feb 2, 2021 04:54 pm
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