BHUBANESWAR: Vaccinated people having low antibody levels may soon be given a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine. The move is being contemplated as over 20 per cent (pc) of the inoculated population have failed to develop antibodies against SARS-CoV2, Director of Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) Dr Ajay Parida said.
Around 23 per cent of the faculty members of a research unit here were found to be antibody negative during a recent study after two doses of vaccine.
“Though the antibody level is 30,000 to 40,000 in some Covid infected people, it is below 50 in significant number of vaccinated individuals. If the antibody level is 60 to 100, then we can say the person is antibody positive,” he said.
ILS is a part of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG), a network of 28 labs across the country equipped to sequence genomes of the coronavirus for emerging variants.
Further, the antibody level is seen to come down after four to six months in many people, who have been vaccinated with two doses.
The booster dose is essential for the people having low or negative antibodies despite full vaccination, Parida said.
Stating that the efficacy of Covishield and Covaxin is about 70 pc to 80 pc which means around 20 to 30 pc of the vaccinated population may not develop antibodies, Dr Parida said the clinical study is at its final stage for approval of a booster dose.
“Based on the outcome of the clinical trial, the ICMR may approve the booster dose. Trial is on whether the booster dose will be Covaxin for people vaccinated with Covishield and vice-versa or Sputnik V for people vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishield. The study is expected to be over in a week,” he stated.
Although the WHO had put a hold on booster dose till more countries catch up with vaccination as there is an alarming vaccine gap between high-income and low-income countries, recommendation for boosters is expected anytime soon.
Meanwhile, over 73.73 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.
A total of 64,49,552 vaccine doses were administered till 7 pm on Saturday, it said.
The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late night, the ministry said.
The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, it added.
(With PTI Inputs)