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Monday, November 29, 2021

Three of every four persons in Haryana has Covid antibodies

Kurukshetra (85%) reported the highest number of people with Covid-19 antibodies, while only 64.2% in Faridabad had the antibodies.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: October 19, 2021 10:25:13 am
The findings revealed that 81.6 per cent population had vaccine-induced antibodies and 75.5% population got antibodies through natural infection.

Three of every four persons in Haryana is now carrying Covid19 antibodies with 81.6 per cent population in state developing it following vaccination while 75.5 per cent got it after they recovered from the infection.

The findings of the survey were released at the Haryana Civil Secretariat here on Monday. This was the biggest sero survey conducted in Haryana till date with around 36,520 participants including children.

Kurukshetra (85%) reported the highest number of people with Covid-19 antibodies, while only 64.2% in Faridabad had the antibodies. “But as 14% samples taken in Faridabad were found inconclusive, we have decided to conduct the sero survey in Faridabad again,” state Health Minister Anil Vij said while releasing the findings of the sero survey.

He added, “This time, we have taken into account both kinds of antibodies –natural as well as vaccine-induced.”

The survey’s findings further revealed that 75.3% of the male population had antibodies. The corresponding figure for the female population was 77.1%. Similarly, in children (6-9 years), antibodies were found in 69.8% of the samples, while 73.2% of older children (10-17 years) surveyed reported antibodies.

The findings revealed that 81.6 per cent population had vaccine-induced antibodies and 75.5% population got antibodies through natural infection.

Haryana sero-survey results

The survey further found that antibodies were present in 78.1% of urban population and 75.1% of the population in rural areas.

“Examining and analyzing 36,520 samples were like climbing Mt Everest, but our doctors did it. All the samples were examined in our Panchkula Civil hospital’s laboratory, while the analysis was conducted by a team of doctors in Rohtak’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences,” Vij said.

“The prevalence of antibodies in 76.3% of the population has come as a relief for us. Till date, we have already vaccinated 2.47 crore people, with 1.74 crore getting their first dose and over 73 lakh receiving their second dose. It means that around 85% population in Haryana has got at least their first dose and 35% population is fully vaccinated. I have given instructions to all the officials concerned to ramp up vaccination so that more people can get their second dose. With antibodies being found in 76.3% of the population, it seems that even if the third wave hits, it would not be a disastrous one,” Vij said.

Appreciating the work of doctors involved in the process, Vij said, “The survey was conducted under the supervision of Dr Usha Gupta, while the PGIMS Rohtak team led by Dr Vinod Chahal provided technical support to ensure that the survey was conducted in a proper manner. Dr Lisa and her team in Panchkula Civil hospital’s laboratory examined the huge number of samples.”

Providing further details about the survey, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Arora said, “The survey was conducted in all districts of Haryana by the Health Department in collaboration with the Department of Community Medicine, PGIMS, Rohtak. The sample size during this round of sero survey was 36,520 as compared to 18,700 (8% sero-prevalence) in the first round and 15,840 (14.8% sero-prevalence) in the second round.”

Arora added, “This round of sero survey was entirely different from previous rounds. The first major challenge was the enlarged sample size. Secondly, all the samples were tested at the District Civil Hospital Lab, Panchkula. The reason behind testing at the Panchkula lab was a shift in the examination of samples from the ELISA to the CLIA method, so that antibodies generated against the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 can be differentiated.”

Asked if the state was on the cusp of achieving herd immunity, Arora said, “The aggressive Covid-19 vaccination programme has led to higher sero-prevalence in the community. Although, the results of this round of sero survey point that we are close to achieving herd immunity, a large proportion of the population is still vulnerable. Therefore, enforcing Covid-19 appropriate behaviour (CAB) is still our utmost priority.”

Arora further said, “The study was conducted in September across the state’s 22 districts. Around 2,200 officers of the Health Department were deployed for the survey. A stratified multistage random sampling technique was used and a total of 913 clusters were identified to collect 36,520 samples. Further, each of these clusters were divided into four quadrants and 10 samples from each quadrant were collected by the field teams. In this sero survey, the population of children above six years was also included to assess the level of immunity in this vulnerable and unexposed cohort. Multiple rounds of trainings for the 2,200 officials were held by the State IDSP Cell prior to the study. The data generated during the field activity was captured digitally on ‘Sero Survey Mobile Application’ along with the geocoordinates of the field activity. The whole field activity was being monitored live on the portal of State IDSP Cell.”

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