A study of 614 fully vaccinated healthcare workers in India found a “significant” drop in their Covid-fighting antibodies within four months of the first injection.
The findings could help the government decide whether to provide booster doses as some Western countries have done.
The decrease in antibodies does not necessarily mean that immunized people lose their ability to counteract the disease, as the body’s memory cells can still act to offer substantial protection, said the director of a state institute that conducted the study.
“After six months, we should be able to tell you more clearly if and when a booster would be needed,” Sanghamitra Pati of the Bhubaneswar-based Regional Center for Medical Research told Reuters on Tuesday.
“And we would urge similar studies in different areas to get data from all over India.”
British researchers said last month that the protection offered by two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines begins to wear off in six months.
The Indian study, published on the Research Square prepress platform but not yet peer-reviewed, is one of the first conducted in the country with its two main vaccines: Covishield, a licensed version of the AstraZeneca injection, and Covaxin of national development. .
Health officials say that while they are studying the evolution of the science on booster doses, the priority is to fully immunize India’s 944 million adults. More than 60% of them have received at least one dose and 19% the two required doses.
Covid cases and deaths in India have dropped dramatically from a peak of more than 400,000 infections in early May. India has reported 33.29 million cases in total and 443,213 deaths.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)