Shimla, Sep 25
Where the entire world is reeling to get past COVID-19 and come back to normal life, Himachal Pradesh seems to be taking the lead here. As per a serosurvey conducted by the Health department of the state, it is found that 87.5% people of the total 4,822 people tested have developed antibodies against the disease. In the survey it was found that Seroprevalence was higher among vaccinated (One dose: 95.4%, Two doses: 97.6%) than the unvaccinated (71.5%). Yet, evidently with these 2 indicators i.e 71.5% unvaccinated and 97.6 % vaccinated, with antibodies against COVID-19, makes it clear that the state may have achieved the level of ‘herd immunity’.
‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. As per experts ‘Herd Immunity’ is achieved against COVID-19, when around 80 to 90 percent of the population has developed antibodies, either due to vaccination or by being infected in the past.
The health department’s population-based serosurvey was conducted in the State of Himachal Pradesh during June-July, 2021 to estimate the proportion of the population with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in more than or equal to 6 years of age group. In the study a minimum of 400 individuals were enrolled from each district, thus, totaling the participants to 4,822.
Talking about the survey a Government spokesperson further added that out of the total of 4822, 437 were between 6-9 years, 939 between 10-17 years, 2005 between 18-44 years, 962 between 45-60 years, and 479 more than 60 years. There were a total of 2,218 males and 2,594 females and 10 others.
He added that out of the 4,822 tested, 4,079 individuals had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, with a weighted and test adjusted sero-prevalence of 87.5% (95% CI: 85.4 – 89.4). The districts reported high seroprevalence ranging from 76.1% (Una) to 95.6% (Kinnaur).
As per this survey, even Children of the state seem to have developed a near satisfactory proportion of antibodies. The children had lower seroprevalence (53.6% aged 6-9 years and 61.5% aged 10-17 years) than adults (around 98%) and seroprevalence was similar by sex.
However, Seroprevalence was higher among vaccinated (One dose: 95.4%, Two doses: 97.6%) than the unvaccinated (71.5%).
The Government spokesperson further added that a total of 56.2% of people in the sample were vaccinated with the first dose and 43.4% were vaccinated with the second dose.
He concluded that a large proportion of the population aged 6 years and above, nearly around 87% have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
However, the seroprevalence is lower among children than among adults. We recommend focusing on covering the population with two doses to maintain the population immunity, added the government spokesperson.