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Owing to the vastness of our country, 30% of the entire population, especially those with co-morbid conditions, are likely to lose vaccine-acquired immunity after six months. Hence, it is around this time the prevention dose should be taken, a new study shows. Currently, the India government recommends the third dose after a nine-month gap of getting fully vaccinated. 

The study conducted by AIG Hospitals along with the Asian Healthcare Foundation on Vaccine Immunity also reveals people above 40 years with co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes have significantly less antibody response after six months of getting fully vaccinated. 

The study was conducted on 1,636 healthcare workers who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19

When do people start losing vaccine-acquired immunity?

 Our study results were at par with other global studies where we found that almost 30% individuals had antibody levels below protective immunity level of 100 AU/ml after six months, Dr D Nageshwar Reddy, Chairman, AIG Hospitals said.

These individuals were majorly above 40 years with co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes. 

‘Out of the total, 6% did not develop any immune protection at all.’ 

Do individuals below the age of 40 hold the same risk?

The results clearly indicated that with age, immunity waning is directly proportional which means that younger people have more sustained antibody levels than the elderly population. 

When should one get the booster shot? 

One of the most important results of the study showed that people above 40 years with co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes have significantly less antibody response after six months of getting fully vaccinated.

Hence, they may be at a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and should be prioritised for a booster dose after six months. 

Centre recommends booster dose after 9 months, how effective is that?

At present, the nine-month gap for a precaution dose benefits 70% of the population who can retain enough antibody levels beyond six months. 

However, considering the scale of our country, the 30% of people especially those with co-morbid conditions like hypertension, diabetes, etc., who are more prone to develop an infection after six months of getting fully vaccinated should also be considered for the prevention dose, Dr Reddy added.

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