ICMR study shows significant drop in Covid antibodies within 4 months after vaccination
A study on 614 fully vaccinated health workers at ICMR’s Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneswar showed a significant drop in Covid antibodies within four months after complete vaccination.
In this study, which was done when India witnessed a deadly delta variant surge, 308 participants were given two doses of the Covishield vaccine and 306 were given two doses of Covaxin.
Out of these 614 healthcare workers, 81 people got infected with Covid-19 for the first time. Among the 257 participants with a previous history of Covid-19, 33 were reinfected even after being inoculated with both doses of a Covid vaccine.
Meanwhile, antibody level for those who got Covaxin started to decrease significantly and antibodies for Covishield recipients started waning significantly after 6 months from the first vaccine shot.
‘In Covaxin, antibodies started declining in the second month after vaccination. In Covishield, antibodies started declining after the fourth month of vaccination,’ said Dr Bhattacharya, one of the authors of the study.
‘We report a significant decline of antibody post 2 months and 4 months among Covaxin and Covishield recipients after two doses of the Covaxin and Covishield,’ she added.
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However, waning antibodies does not mean that one is not protected at all.
‘This does not mean that person is not fully protected. T cells and B cells are also factors that help in creating a memory to fight the virus,’ Dr Sanghamitra Pati, a co-author of the ICMR study said.
‘A follow-up of this study will be done for a year. These were healthcare workers and more pan India studies are needed for further conclusion,’ Dr Sanghamitra Pati added.
Meanwhile, a study in the UK on more than a million people, who were inoculated with two doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, showed reduced antibodies. Even in the US, studies suggested vaccine protection waned among older populations.
A recent review of data on boosters from the US FDA on effectiveness and infection stated that vaccine efficacy for Pfizer-BioNtech reduced by 6 per cent after every two months. In the UK, on the other hand, protection dropped by 12 per cent after 5-6 months.
In the UK, protection reduced by 10 per cent within 4-5 months after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine. Moderna vaccine also showed waning of immunity.
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However, Dr Swapneil Parikh, a physician and the author of the book ‘The Coronavirus’, said it was still important to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, health regulators of several countries are calling for booster shots. The UK’s expert advisory panel recommended a third booster dose to everyone over 50 years. Israel has begun the booster roll out. Vaccine makers are also making a case.
The US FDA is reviewing research that a third shot can restore vaccine efficacy to 95 per cent and considering recommending booster doses for all above the age of 16 years.
There is a probability of getting reinfected even post complete vaccination. But it is important that each reinfection will be milder as vaccines are made to protect against severe illness and death. The findings of the ICMR study are small but crucial and could help health experts in India decide whether to provide booster doses.
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(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.indiatoday.in feed.)
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