• Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:38 pm

Study: Big drop in Covid antibodies within 4 months of vaccination

  • Published at 09:12 pm September 14th, 2021
India Covid-19 Vaccination
A health worker inoculates a man with a dose of Covaxin vaccine against Covid-19 coronavirus at a vaccination centre in New Delhi on September 14, 2021 AFP

The findings could help the Indian government decide whether to provide booster doses as some Western countries have done

A study of 614 fully vaccinated health workers in India found a "significant" drop in their Covid-fighting antibodies within four months of the first shot.

The findings could help the Indian government decide whether to provide booster doses as some Western countries have done.

Waning antibodies do not necessarily mean that immunized people lose their ability to counter the disease, as the body's memory cells may still kick in to offer substantial protection, said the director of a state-run institute that did the study.

"After six months, we should be able to tell you more clearly whether and when a booster would be needed," Sanghamitra Pati of the Regional Medical Research Centre, based in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar, told Reuters yesterday.

"And we would urge similar studies in different areas for pan-India data."

British researchers said last month that protection offered by two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca vaccines begins to fade within six months.

The Indian study, published in the Research Square pre-print platform but yet to be peer reviewed, is one of the first such done in the country involving its main two vaccines - Covishield, a licensed version of the AstraZeneca shot, and domestically developed Covaxin.

Health officials say though they are studying the evolving science on booster doses, the priority is to fully immunize India's 944 million adults. More than 60% of them have received at least one dose and 19% the required two doses.

Covid cases and deaths in India have come down sharply since a peak of more than 400,000 infections in early May. India has reported 33.29 million cases in total and 443,247 deaths.

The coronavirus has killed at least 4,655,146 and infected over 226 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.

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