The COVID vaccines generate an immune response against infection is something we all know. Now, a study conducted in Hyderabad found out that the immunity waned six months after getting the second dose in 30% of the participants studied. Not only that, 6% of the participants had no immunity against COVID-19 making them susceptible to getting severely ill with COVID. In both cases, age and co-morbidities were among the factors, as per the study conducted by AIG Hospitals, Hyderabad in a collaboration with the Asian Health Foundation, also located in the same city. This can be a crucial finding vis-à-vis booster doses, for which the government has set a gap of nine months since the second dose.
About The Study
Before going through the study findings, let us have a look at how it was conducted:
- The study involved 1,636 healthcare workers who were fully vaccinated.
- 52% of them were males. Their median age was 29.
- 92% of the participants received the Covishield COVID vaccine, 6.2 % Covaxin and less than 1% took Russia’s Sputnik.
- 3% suffered from co-morbidities that were diabetes and hypertension.
- 12% of the participants previously had COVID infection.
The study is yet to be peer-reviewed.
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Here is what the study found out:
- The immunity levels of 30% of the participants were below the minimum threshold, which is 100 AU/ml.
- Not just that, in 6%, antibodies levels were below the detectable range.
- Although the study didn’t elaborate on the remaining 70% of participants, D Nageshwar Reddy, who is the chairman of AIG Hospitals, said that the nine-month gap between the second and the booster doses benefits those 70% as they have enough antibodies left, a leading media house reported.
COVID Vaccine Immunity – Age, Co-Morbidities Connection
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A striking finding of this study was that in those who lost immunity, most had advanced ages and suffered from co-morbidities.
- 30% of the participants lost immunity against COVID, most were aged 40 and above and suffered from co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes.
- This was also the case with the 6% of people whose antibodies levels were below the detectable range after six months post the second dose.
- Age plays a role in COVID vaccine-induced immunity as 28.8% of the participants in the 18-39 age group reported a drop in antibodies levels below the minimum range. Compare it to that in the 40-59 age group, 30.7% of whom reported a drop in antibodies levels.
- According to AIG Hospitals’ chairman, although the nine-month gap for booster dose works for the remaining 70%, those with advanced ages and co-morbidities should be considered for a booster dose.
Commenting on the study, D Reddy said the study findings were at par with global studies that the drop in immunity is proportional to age and is affected with co-morbidities. Also, since those above the age of 40 and suffering from co-morbidities have very few antibodies, hence, they should be prioritized for a booster dose. Presently, health and frontline workers as well as those above the age of 60 and having co-morbidities can get the third jab.
A thing about this study is that it monitored antibodies levels to measure immunity. However, your immune response against COVID is determined by other factors too, which include the T-cells and memory cells. However, the antibodies levels are the first line of defense against the infection.
No matter the mode of measuring immunity, it’s crucial to get vaccinated against COVID. It will not prevent vaccination but will protect you from severe infection and even death. Hence get fully vaccinated if you aren’t already and get the booster shot if eligible. This is among the primary ways to rein in the COVID pandemic.
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