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ICMR fourth Sero Survey | About two-thirds of the general population have COVID-19 antibodies, says study

According to this survey, a third of the population still did not have antibodies. It is also estimated that about 40 crore Indians are still vulnerable to COVID-19.

July 20, 2021 / 05:04 PM IST
Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

About two-thirds of the general population have COVID-19 antibodies and 67.6% of India's population were exposed to the disease, the fourth serosurvey conducted by ICMR during the June-July 2021 period found.

According to this survey, a third of the population still did not have antibodies. It is also estimated that about 40 crore Indians are still vulnerable to COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Children

As for the prevalence of COVID-19 among children, the survey found that more than half of the children (6 -17 year) were seropositive, i.e.,  results that suggested the presence of COVID-19 antibodies.

Healthcare workers

In the case of healthcare workers (HCWs), it was found that 85 percent HCWs had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. One-tenth of healthcare workers had not been vaccinated, it said.

Vaccination rates

When it came to vaccination rates, among 20,276 adults, 12,607 (62.2 percent) had not been vaccinated. This is in comparison to 5,038 or (24.8 percent) who had been given the first dose and 2,631 (13 percent) who had been given the second dose. This places the overall sero-prevalence  at 67. percent, the ICMR said.


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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"Ensure full vaccination of all healthcare workers," ICMR said, adding that the vaccination programme must be accelerated in vulnerable population group.

The fourth serosurvey was conducted in the same 70 districts; 21 States as the previous three rounds. About 28,975 individuals were enrolled. The breakdown of this group in terms of age is as follows:

Ages 6-9 years: 2,892 (10%)
Ages 10-17 years: 5,799 (20%)

Greater than 18 years: 20,284 (70%)

"Societal, public, religious & political congregations be avoided," the ICMR said, adding that non-essential travels are to discouraged. It also iterated that travel should only be permitted if the person is fully vaccinated.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 20, 2021 05:04 pm

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