India develops herd immunity; BF.7 variant may not be as serious as in China: CCMB chief

PTI, Dec 25, 2022, 11:29 AM IST

The severity of BF.7 variant of coronavirus in India may not be as serious as it is currently prevailing in China as Indian have already developed ”herd immunity” a top official of CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here said.

Vinay K Nandicoori, Director CCMB, stressing the need to follow Covid appropriate behaviour, said there is always a concern that all these variants have the ability to escape the immunity and can infect people who are vaccinated and even sometimes infected with the previous variants of Omicron.

”The severity of the infection is not as much as they used to be with Delta. That’s because of the fact that we do have herd immunity to an extent. Actually we have herd immunity because we are exposed to the other viruses,” he told PTI.

Media reports indicate that India reported four cases of BF.7 variant of coronavirus. ”We (India) have seen the Delta wave which is a big one. Then we have got vaccination done. And then the Omicron wave came and we continued booster doses. We are different in many ways. What is happening in China may not happen in India because of that,” he further said.

India reported 201 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases increased to 3,397, the Union health Ministry said on Saturday.

The official said the ”Zero Covid Policy” followed by China is one of the reasons for the outbreak of the infection in that country and opined that lower vaccination levels may also have contributed to the severity.

”It is actually that (the zero Covid policy that China is followed) and also the fact is in China, not many people really went for the vaccine as it has happened in India all the older population is vaccinated and sometimes even sometimes booster dose has been given to older population or susceptible population,” he said.

Maintaining that at this point it cannot be asserted that there may or may not be a wave in India, Nandicoori said as of now it does not seem to be that alarming that a wave is coming right away.

Currently there is enough capacity within India both for the Covid tests as well as therapy and vaccination. They are accessible to many people, he added.

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