Most HCMC residents have Covid antibodies: survey

By Le Phuong   November 28, 2022 | 12:20 am PT
Most HCMC residents have Covid antibodies: survey
A bucket is used as a drum as Saigonese storm the street to celebrate a SEA Games football victory, May 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
A survey on Covid-19 herd immunity conducted among 839 random people in Ho Chi Minh City has found more than 98% carry antibodies.

The survey was carried out by the city's Center for Disease Control in collaboration with the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in September, director of the municipal Health Department, Tang Chi Thuong, said Monday.

It was conducted among nine different age groups from 12 to 70s.

Researchers collected serum randomly from across the city to measure anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N)-protein and anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)-protein antibodies.

The result showed that 88.2% of samples have N-protein antibodies, which are produced only after a person gets infected with the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, and 98.7% have S-protein antibodies, which are produced either by vaccination or infection.

N-protein antibodies are also produced after a person receives the Chinese inactivated vaccine, Sinopharm, which stimulates the body's immune system without the risk of causing infection. However, only a few people in HCMC had received this vaccine and no one under 18 had got it.

The research team concluded that as of September this year, 88% of people in HCMC, which has a population of 13 million including migrants, had contracted Covid-19.

The health department believed that the Omicron variant is the main factor for herd immunity in the city since when students returned to school in March, the fast-spreading, more contagious variant was emerging in the city.

The volume of S-protein antibodies is the lowest in the group under 12, which matches the vaccination rate, said Thuong.

It is expected that the research team will continue to collect more samples for the survey next month.

From this survey, the department continues to call on every family in the city to have their members from 5 years old get vaccinated.

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