PCMC Sero-survey Finds 70% Children in 6-18 Age Group have Antibodies Against COVID-19

While experts have been predicting a third wave of coronavirus infections which is likely to affect children more, residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad can breathe a tad easy as a serological survey has revealed that children in the age group of 6-18 years have 70 per cent antibodies.

The sero-survey was carried out over a period of 10 days from June 16 to 26, and in 200 clusters including slums, chawls, housing societies and buildings. The sero-survey, the second one by the PCMC, covered 10,082 citizens.

The first survey was carried out last year and covered 5,000 residents.

On an average, the sero-survey has shown that 81 per cent of residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad have developed antibodies against SARS-COV-2. Members of the 6-18 age group were found to have 70.6 per cent antibodies while those in the 18-44 group had 78.9 per cent antibodies. The level of antibodies in the 45-60 group was 91.1 per cent and for those above 60, the level of antibodies was 90.5 per cent.

‘The survey showed that 70 per cent of the children have antibodies against coronavirus. This is a very high figure and we have reason to feel somewhat relieved as it has been predicted by experts that children are likely to be more affected in the third wave,’ Dr Laxman Gofane, medical department head of the PCMC, told The Indian Express on Saturday.

These children either had mildly symptomatic Covid-19 or had been asymptomatic earlier, he said. ‘Usually, antibodies last for 3-4 months. However, in some people, they last for even for seven-eight months’ he said.

Though 70 per cent children have developed antibodies, Dr Gofane said it would be too early to say that they are in the safe zone. ‘This is because we have no clue as to whether these antibodies are effective against the Delta-plus variant of coronavirus… we will have to wait and watch. It is too early to draw a definite conclusion,’ he said.

For the sero-survey, blood samples of 1,464 citizens living in slums were collected. Of these, 82.5 per cent were found to have developed antibodies. The survey found that 84.5 per cent people living in chawls and 80 per cent of those living in residential societies had antibodies.

Dr Gofane said a higher percentage of those living chawls or in ‘gaothan’ areas were found to have antibodies.

‘This was a quantitative survey bigger than the first survey. We will also soon release details about the amount of antibodies that were detected among citizens,’ he said. ‘In adults too, we will have to see how effective the antibodies are against the Delta-plus variant,’ added Dr Gofane.

The survey has, however, raised eyebrows as it also included those who have been infected with Covid-19 earlier or have been vaccinated. Responding to his, Dr Gofane said, ‘It was a random survey. We did not check whether the person was infected earlier or vaccinated.’

(The article is posted from The Indian Express without any modification.)