After the confirmation of two cases of Omicron variant of COVID 19,Dr Anurag Agarwal gave a ray of hope. Dr Anurag Agrawal, Senior Scientist and Director of the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi in an interview ANI said that, “Right now people with best immunity are those with hybrid immunity, which is the largest proportion of the country’s population. Even one dose of COVID-19 vaccine gives you good immunity if you have previously had an infection”.
Amidst the panic, on the arrival COVID-19’s new variant, Omicron, India having “hybrid immunity” is a great source of relief. Dr Agarwal further explained the three types of immunity which are-
- The first is natural immunity that the body develops after being infected by the virus.
- The second is the immunity attained after being vaccinated.
- And, the third type is hybrid immunity, that is developed when a person was infected previously and gets vaccinated later.
“India has all three types of people. A large number of people have been infected, we know that from the ICMR serosurvey. Our big vaccine push was after the second wave, and therefore, these people were infected before they got the vaccine. Hybrid immunity is the strongest of all immunities,” he said.
As per Dr Agarwal, the immunity of those who were fully vaccinated before the second wave of COVID-19 hit ( mainly health workers and frontline workers), would have declined and to boost their immunity special measures like booster dose is required . He further added that non- jabbed were at a greater risk to be infected by the new variant, Omicron.
Two cases of the new variant, Omicron , were reported in Karnataka on Thursday, as informed by the Union Health Ministry. One of them was a South African returnee and the other was a doctor who had no history of travel. This is the first case of the new strain in India.
India has issued revised guidelines to the travellers from the “at-risk” countries and RT-PCR tests are conducted for the travelers from the suspected countries to India.
Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Health Minister, said that out of 16000 samples of travelers from the “at-risk” countries, 18 samples have been sent for genome sequencing to check for the Omicron variant.