Two-thirds of Indians with COVID antibodies but still avoid crowds: ICMR warns

The seropositivity among unvaccinated people was found out to be about 62 per cent.

The Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) fourth countrywide sero survey has come out with its new report stating that 67.6 per cent Indians had antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It has also been discovered that seropositivity among minors were very high — 57.2 per cent in the 6-9 years age group. In the 10-17 years age groups, it was 61.6 per cent, while healthcare workers stood at 85.2 per cent. Further, the seropositivity among unvaccinated people was found out to be about 62 per cent.

The survey was conducted in the months of June and July. However, it only detects people with antibodies, but cannot clearly make the distinction on the source, i.e., vaccination and infections. This is because vaccinated people who may or may not ever have had
the infection also have antibodies.

Announcing the results of the sero survey, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said: “The data shows that a third of the population did not have antibodies, which means 40 crore Indians are still vulnerable. However, national serosurvey is no substitute for local (state/district) variations. State-led sentinel sero-surveillance will inform further state-level action and state heterogeneity indicates possibility of future waves of infection.


“Societal, public, religious and political congregations should be avoided as also non-essential travel. It is only safe for those individuals to travel that are fully vaccinated,” he added.


Meanwhile, based on data from unvaccinated individuals, the survey shows that the total number of infections in the country at that point of time stood at over 84.94 crore.


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