BENGALURU: Data collection for the second serosurvey, which began on January 25 and covers the whole state, is almost complete. The survey is crucial as it could help policymakers gauge the extent of exposure of the population to SARS-CoV-2 and guide vaccine coverage.
A serological prevalence survey involves testing blood samples to determine whether someone has been exposed to an infection and whether she/he has developed Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to combat the infection.
A senior doctor said that the survey should have been completed by now but a decision has not been taken on whether the analysis should begin as the health department and research institutes who are part of the survey were busy. “It is important to now speed up the process. The sero survey team will meet in a couple of days to make a decision,” the doctor said.
Technical Advisory Committee member and Director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases Dr C N Manjunath said the survey results would help policymakers strategize vaccination coverage and use resources more effectively. “The report will also help advise on vaccine allocations: Wherever prevalence is low, the vaccination process will need to be ramped up,” said Dr Manjunath.
Dr Giridhara R Babu, senior epidemiologist and a public health expert at the Indian Institute of Public Health, said that the exercise was not just about gathering data, but using that data to guide policy. “It is important to finish the analysis of population-level survey as it will not just look at confirmed cases that the government needs to target, but also identify areas where cases are popping up and where they should direct suppression efforts,” he said. IIPH is also part of the serosurvey in the state. Seroprevalence analysis data will function the way measuring temperature gives a sense of what might be wrong in the body. Interpretation of the data will take more time, experts said.