Even as the second wave of Covid-19 has subsided substantially in all parts of the country, there are fears related to the newer variants of Coronavirus, including Delta and Delta plus variant; whether antibodies will work effectively against these variants is one of the biggest fear people have. Dr Vikas Maurya, who is the director and HOD, Pulmonology at Delhi’s Fortis Hospital told the Indian Express that patients who were contracted from the Delta variant Covid-19 and have since recovered will definitely have antibodies against the virus. However, it was possible that the antibodies developed in patients, who were contracted with the original strain of Coronavirus, might not give them adequate protection from the newer variants. Dr Maurya further said that luckily he had not encountered patients who were infected for the second time with delta variant after recovering from the virus earlier.
Are Covid-19 vaccines effective against newer variants?
In a significant finding, a group of researchers recently found that the delta variant of the virus was about 8-times less sensitive to the antibodies generated from Covid-19 vaccines. The study which was conducted by the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease also had Indian scientists as part of the study.
Dr Trupti Gilada, who is a consultant physician in infectious diseases, Masina Hospital told the Indian Express that there is no evidence to prove that antibodies do not work against newer variants and added that antibodies developed naturally or through a vaccine work against the delta variant. Dr Trupti said that the pair of currently available vaccines in India are effective against the delta variant by as much as 75 percent in case of symptomatic infection and 95 percent from extremely severe infection, hospitalisation or death. On an optimistic note, Dr Trupti further said that face masks and vaccines are two most important weapons against the virus and if a sizable population is vaccinated then the country may very well avoid the third wave of Coronavirus.