60% Telangana population have developed antibodies against COVID-19: Sero survey

About 55 percent of the children (6-9 years) were found to be sero-positive, while 61 percent of adolescents had COVID19 antibodies.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  23 July 2021 12:35 PM GMT
60% Telangana population have developed antibodies against COVID-19: Sero survey

Hyderabad: Around 60.1 percent of the Telangana population has developed antibodies against COVID-19, the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) said on Friday.

The fourth round of sero-prevalence study led by the ICMR-NIN in association with the Telangana State Health Department was conducted in Telangana in June 2021.

The survey was conducted in Jangaon, Nalgonda, and Kamareddy Districts. The survey also included children in the age group of six to nine for the first time in the fourth phase. About 55 percent of the children (6-9 years) were found to be sero-positive, while 61 percent of adolescents had COVID19 antibodies.

Among the healthcare workers, the sero-positivity was as high as 82.4 percent. The ICMR-NIN said that a large chunk of it can also be attributed to early vaccination to the frontline workers.

The ICMR strategy has been to do repeat cross-sectional sero-studies in the same geographic locations so that the infection transmission trends could be documented and studied. The first round of the sero-survey, conducted in May 2020, and the second and the third rounds were conducted in August and December 2020 in the same districts showed a sero-prevalence of 0.33 percent, 12.5 percent and 24.1 percent respectively. The seroprevalence at the national level went up from 24 percent in December 2020 to 67 percent in June 2021, however, in Telangana, it went up from 24.1 percent to 60.1 percent during the same time frame.

Interestingly, the study also found that among those who were not vaccinated at all the sero-positivity was low at 51.3 percent, while among those who received one dose of vaccination, it was 78.5percent and it was 94 percent among those who got both the shots. "Near 100 percent sero-positvity among those vaccinated clearly indicates that vaccines are effective. This should remove any vaccine hesitancy and encourage people to get vaccinated as early as possible," said Dr A Laxmaiah, Head of Public Health Division, ICMR-NIN and Nodal officer for the Telangana Study.

"Although over 60 percent of people have antibodies, over 40 percent of the population is still susceptible. This is not the time to lower our guard. All non-pharmacological Covid-19 measures like wearing masks, hand sanitization, physical distancing should be continued," cautioned Dr Hemalatha R, Director, ICMR-NIN

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