Bhopal 25.12.2021. According to Dr Naresh Purohit, Advisor- National Immunisation Programme ‘”Super Immunity” might come handy in fighting Omicron. Experts have been studying the phenomenon by its other name – “hybrid immunity” for some time now, especially after cases of reinfection with Delta after the two doses of Covid-19 vaccinations started stacking up.
Acclaimed Epidemiologist Dr Purohit informed Blue Eyes here
that much of the population in India got infected in the first COVID-19 wave, with the Wuhan strain of novel Coronavirus. Then, we started the vaccination drive that ran concurrently with the second wave dominated by the Delta variant. During the second wave, many partially vaccinated people were infected, while there were others who took the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19. There were different combinations that induced immunity in people. We can call it hybrid immunity.
Principal Investigator for the National Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme Dr Purohit explained that with the injected COVID-19 vaccine, we develop antibodies of the IgG and IgM classes. We have seen that vaccinated people do not suffer from severe infection as the IgG and IgM antibodies don’t let the virus enter deeper in the body. The COVID-19 death rate in vaccinated people is less.
He said that with many individuals having clinical and sub-clinical natural infection, there are chances that people have also developed IgA antibodies in the nasopharyngeal area too.
Dr Purohit further said our body’s immune system is very intelligent. It tries to protect the areas from where the pathogen arrives. The Coronavirus generally enters our body through the nose and nasopharynx.
The IgA antibody protects the nasopharyngeal area.
He stated that super immunity or hybrid immunity refers to a combination of immunity gained through natural infection and immunity gained through immunisation in a person that has faced a breakthrough infection after vaccination. Meaning, a person infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus after being vaccinated against it gains “super immunity”.
Dr Purohit warned that naturally gained immunity has the risk of severe disease and death. Hence the urgency for vaccine-induced high immunity”. And In India, only 39.9 per cent of the population has so far received two doses of the vaccine
He averred that antibodies that are hyper-charged after natural infection tend to wane with time. Citing a recent Hongkong research experts revealed that even hybrid immunity wanes and allows more reinfection with Omicron compared to earlier variants.
Dr Purohit opined that hybrid immunity may still hold up better than just people who got two vaccine doses and a booster dose of vaccine further enhances this process.