Antibody levels above 6 contribute to reducing the severity of Covid-19 significantly, say experts
A self-funded research conducted by a couple of tertiary level hospital physicians has found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is developing antibodies in people who have received the jab.
The level of antibodies developed post-vaccination is not the same for all. But the researchers have initially found that antibodies had developed in over 98% of the recipients after they had taken the first dose of the two-dose vaccine.
They also observed that the level of antibodies ranged from 2 to 12, and younger people (20 to 50 years old) were developing higher levels of immunity compared to the elderly (60 and above).
Dr Biddut Barun, deputy director (planning and development) of Chittagong Medical University (CMU), in early April told Dhaka Tribune that the antibody level in his blood was above 9 after taking the vaccine.
“It is believed that antibody levels above 6 contribute to reducing the severity [of Covid-19] significantly,” he said, adding that the country needed to conduct more studies on vaccines.
The second phase of the aforesaid research has almost reached its completion.
To conduct the study, the physicians first tested antibody levels before the participants had been vaccinated. The second blood sample was collected 28 days after the administration of the first dose of the vaccine.
Testing of the antibody levels was ongoing, said Ashraful Haque, assistant professor at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery.
Research findings showed that the level of antibody in people between the ages 20 and 50 was 10-12.
The antibody level was around 6 or more among people above 60, and had never crossed 10, Ashraful Haque, one of the researchers, said.
In line with current belief, another study, conducted by Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU), has found after testing 200 Covid-19 patients that those who have received their first vaccine dose are less likely to experience severe symptoms.
“Vaccine confers passive immunity through the creation of antibodies to fight the virus,” Assistant Professor Ashraful said, adding: “The main objective of vaccination is to reduce severe cases and hospitalizations, [consequently] bringing down the mortality rate.”
“[However,] vaccination does not put an end to the spread of coronavirus … a full clinical trial of the vaccine has yet to be completed. It takes several years to make such a vaccine, and we got it in a year,” he stated.
The researchers of the antibody study have noted that seven out of 500 vaccinated participants tested Covid-19 positive after receiving the first shot.
The Indian Express on Friday reported that some 0.02% of people in India had contracted the virus after taking the first dose of Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab manufactured by Serum Institute of India, while around 0.03% had tested positive for the disease after taking the second dose.
Hope in the storm
“The level of antibody [in a vaccine recipient’s body] will increase over time. A booster shot will be needed in the future,” Ashraful Haque said.
The health authorities in the UAE and Israel have already started administering a third vaccine dose as a booster shot.
Holding out hope, the assistant professor said the research was providing evidence that vaccination could prevent severe cases and save lives in the process.
“As the vaccine is creating antibodies in the elderly at around level 6, more of them could remain out of harm’s way after being vaccinated,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Dr Biddut Barun of CMU said if 70-80% of the total population was inoculated, the country might be in a safer state.