Don't sway by sero-survey; stay protected, advise docs

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Dr Rajeev Seth and Dr Shivaji Dev Burman

Rohit Shishodia

Doctors have stressed that people should not be guided by findings of a fourth ICMR sero-survey which reveals that around 68% of Indians have developed Covid antibodies.

They must emphasize that findings should be seen in the proper context as India has a vast population and the remaining 32% population is still vulnerable, which is a huge number.

Doctors have said that mutations in the virus is another reason why people should not get influenced by sero-survey. Mutations have the ability to evade past infection and vaccination. Therefore, Covid appropriate behavior remains a crucial protective weapon.  

Dr Rajeev Seth, Medical Director, Child Health and Development Centre, New Delhi, told DTMT: “Virus is still under circulation and it is still mutating. Antibody is developed against a particular type of virus. It does not indicate that it protects against all variants such as Delta and Delta plus. Out of these 68%, many could be vulnerable to Covid.”

“The other thing is that we have a huge population of 1.3 billion. You have to see all things in proper context of our population. The survey has found that one third of the population is still vulnerable, which is a very high in number,” he added.

“Cases of different Covid variants have increased in North Eastern states, Maharashtra and Kerala. You have to contain them. The survey findings do not mean that entire population is immune. In fact, we still have to continue to adopt Covid appropriate behavior,” advised Dr Seth.

Dr Shivaji Dev Burman, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi, pointed out that antibodies exist for a certain period and after that is over, one can again get Covid. So, antibodies should not be seen as prevention. Hence, there is no room for any complacency.”

“Other major issue is mutations in the virus. Infection in the first wave never guarantees that one  cannot get infected in the second wave due to changed structure of the virus. It is because of continuous mutations in coronavirus. The same rule applies to vaccination since it may not hold good for new variants. Even after vaccination one needs to adhere to  appropriate Covid protocols,” he opined. 


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