More than 80 per cent of those aged 18 and above in Kerala have Covid-19 antibodies according to the latest seroprevalence study carried out by the LDF government, state health minister Veena George said on Monday. The minister, answering queries regarding the survey raised in the state assembly, said 82.6 per cent of the population of 18 years and above had Covid-19 antibodies and the reason for that was vaccination and infection by the virus.
The survey, which concluded at the end of September, also found that sero prevalence was comparatively low — 65.4 per cent — in pregnant women between the age of 18-49 years, she said. This was due to the precautions that women take during pregnancy, which kept them safe from infection, and delay in vaccination, the minister said.
Above 18 years in urban slums and coastal areas of the state were found to have a much higher rate of sero prevalence — 85.3 per cent and 87.7 per cent respectively, she said. The reason for this, according to the Minister, was the high density of population in these areas and the high number of Covid-19 cases being reported from there.
In tribal areas, sero prevalence of those above 18 years of age was found to be 78.2 per cent which was lower than that of 82.6 per cent as tribal areas have low population density, the minister said. She said the percentage can be increased by increasing the vaccination in these areas.
Of the six categories from which samples were collected, the 5-17 years age group was found to have the lowest sero prevalence rate — 40.2 per cent — according to the study, she said. This was due to the reason that children have been kept indoors since the Covid-19 outbreak with classes being held online and therefore, they were kept away from most sources of infection.
Moreover, vaccination of children was also miniscule and therefore, antibodies presence was also less, the minister said.