Covid-19: 82.6% of adults, 40.2% kids in Kerala have Covid antibodies

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Health Minister Veena George said on Monday that over 80 percent of those 18 years old and above in the state have Covid-19 antibodies according to the latest seroprevalence study carried out by the LDF government. The Minister, replying to questions regarding the survey raised in the State Assembly, said that 82.6 percent 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 seroprevalence was comparatively low -- 65.4 percent - 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. By comparison, those above 18 years in urban slums and coastal areas of the State were found to have a much higher rate of seroprevalence -- 85.3 percent and 87.7 percent 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, the seroprevalence of those above 18 years of age was found to be 78.2 percent which was lower than that of 82.6 percent 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 seroprevalence rate -- 40.2 percent -- 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 minuscule and therefore, antibodies presence was also less, the Minister said.

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