‘78% below 18-year age group, 64% pregnant women have igG antibodies against SARS CoV2’

A healthcare worker administers the first of the two COVID-19 vaccine doses to a woman in Jammu on Jan 16, 2021.
A healthcare worker administers the first of the two COVID-19 vaccine doses to a woman in Jammu on Jan 16, 2021.Photo: Mir Imran/GK

Srinagar: Around 78 percent children below 18 years of age and 64 percent pregnant women in Kashmir have developed Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) CoV-2 infection, Sero prevalence survey conducted across Kashmir revealed.

The survey was conducted across Kashmir in July this year to assess IgG antibodies among the general population wherein different subgroups showed that 78 percent below the age of 18 years have developed antibodies against Covid-19.

“Moreover, 64 percent pregnant women sampled during the same survey across 10 districts of Kashmir also exhibited IgG antibodies against SARS CoV-2 infection during July,” it said.

However, the report states that the survey was conducted when less than one percent among the sampled pregnant group were vaccinated against Covid-19 during that time.

“Even though schools have been closed for a long time and the under 18-year age group population is still unvaccinated,” the survey said.

The high presence of IgG antibodies among the below 18-year age group has depicted widespread infection within the families as is evident from the data from the study.

“The prevalence among the 18-45 years and above 45 years has been approximately 84 percent and 89.5 percent,” it said.

The survey has revealed that the genomic sequencing depicted that Delta variant was the dominating strain of SARS CoV-2 virus circulating in Kashmir and the hospital admissions.

“Deaths have been very insignificant,” it said.

The report states that there were no major restrictions for movement of the general population including children except for visiting schools.

“With such high sero positivity among children, the stakeholders need to converge and decide about opening of schools or otherwise,” said HoD Community Medicine GMC Srinagar Dr S Muhammad Salim Khan, who is also the principal investigator of the first-ever study conducted to find the antibodies of against Covid19 among children and pregnant woman.

Regarding the sero positivity among pregnant women, the survey suggests that the vaccination needs to be scaled up as there has been over 90 percent sero positivity among the healthcare providers and police personnel whose vaccination status was also over 90 percent.

The study has been conducted by the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar in collaboration with Community Medicine departments of SKIMS, SKIMS Medical College Srinagar, GMC Anantnag and GMC Baramulla.

The study was conducted with the support of Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) and J&K National Health Mission.

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