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Two-thirds of Indians above 6 years have COVID-19 antibodies: health research body

NEW DELHI, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The latest survey conducted by India's top health research body, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has found two-thirds of the country's general population above the age of six years have antibodies against COVID-19 but one in three are still vulnerable, officials said Tuesday.

The fourth serosurvey was conducted to determine the scale of COVID-19 antibodies in the people.

The survey showed 67.6 percent people above six years have antibodies against the COVID-19.

The results, however, mean around 400 million people are still at risk of infection, the government said, warning that there is no room for laxity in following COVID-19 appropriate behavior.

The government urged eligible people to get vaccinated.

"The fourth serosurvey shows there is a ray of hope, but there is no room for complacency. We must maintain COVID-19 appropriate behaviour," ICMR chief Balram Bhargava said.

The survey was done on 36,227 people, including 7,252 healthcare workers during June-July.

Over 50 percent of 8,691 children between the age of six and 17 who were tested also had the antibodies. This was the first national survey to test for antibodies in those under the age of 18, a decision taken amid widespread concern that future waves could affect children.

Over half the children surveyed were sero positive and showed COVID-19 infection, with the ICMR advising state governments to open primary schools first provided all school staffers have been fully vaccinated.

Importantly, the survey has shown that the proportion of sero prevalence was higher for people who had taken COVID vaccines.

"As per vaccine status of the surveyed population the sero positivity was 62.3 percent in unvaccinated, 81 percent in those with one vaccine dose and 89.8 percent in people who had taken both the doses. Health workers showed the highest sero prevalence at 85.2 percent. We also found that 10 percent of the health workers we surveyed had not taken any COVID-19 vaccine," Bhargava said. Enditem

[ Editor: JYZ ]