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Nearly 90% of Mumbai population has COVID-19 antibodies: BMC serosurvey

The sero-prevalence in healthcare workers was 87.14 percent.

September 18, 2021 / 11:14 AM IST
(Representative Image: AFP)

(Representative Image: AFP)


Nearly 90 percent of Mumbai's population has antibodies against COVID-19, the latest serosurvey by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revealed.

The survey was conducted between August 12 and September 9, 2021, the civic body said, adding, it included participants above 18 years from all 24 wards of the city.

In slums, the sero-prevalence was 87.02 percent, while it was 86.22 percent in other areas, the BMC said.

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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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"Overall sero-prevalence in slum and non-slum areas in the city of Greater Mumbai is much higher in comparison to the last survey," the BMC added.

Read | 1 billion COVID-19 vaccinations expected before mid-October

Further, as many as 90.26 percent of those partially or fully vaccinated were found to have antibodies, while the proportion was 79.86 per cent in the non-vaccinated population.

There was a marginal difference gender-wise. Among women there was 88.29 per cent sero-prevalence compared to 85.07 per cent in men.

Age-wise, sero-prevalence varied from 80 percent to 91 percent. The sero-prevalence in healthcare workers was 87.14 percent.

Of the total 8,674 samples examined during the survey, 20 percent were of health workers. The survey was conducted by the public health department and three civic hospitals with the support of A.T.E. Chandra Foundation and IDFC Institute.

Sero-prevalence among people who were vaccinated was much higher than those who had not been inoculated. The civic body, however, urged people to continue following the COVID-19 safety protocol.

"Even if antibodies are found, precautions such as use of masks, hand hygiene and maintaining safe distance must be followed," the BMC appealed.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 18, 2021 11:14 am

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