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Updated on: Friday, December 03, 2021, 09:30 PM IST

What is hybrid immunity? All you need to know

People wait in a queue outside a pop-up vaccination centre for the Covid-19 vaccine or booster, in Hammersmith and Fulham in Greater London on December 3, 2021, as rollout accelerates in England. | (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

People wait in a queue outside a pop-up vaccination centre for the Covid-19 vaccine or booster, in Hammersmith and Fulham in Greater London on December 3, 2021, as rollout accelerates in England. | (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

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Dr Anurag Agrawal, Senior Scientist and Director of the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, on Friday said a large section of India's population has "hybrid immunity" against COVID-19.

"Right now people with best immunity are those with hybrid immunity, which is the largest proportion of the country's population. Even one dose of COVID-19 vaccine gives you good immunity if you have previously had an infection," Dr Agrawal told news agency ANI.

He said there are three types of immunity - natural immunity coming from infection, vaccine immunity coming from vaccines and hybrid immunity, in which a person who has previously been infected also gets vaccinated.

"India has all three types of people. A large number of people have been infected, we know that from the ICMR serosurvey. Our big vaccine push was after the second wave, and therefore, these people were infected before they got the vaccine. Hybrid immunity is the strongest of all immunities," he said.

Talking about people who got fully vaccinated before the second wave arrived in India in April this year, Dr Agrawal, said that their immunity would have declined over time and special focus is needed for boosting their immunity with measures such as booster dose.

"The worst immunity is in people who have not yet been vaccinated. We must take care of very important section of the population like healthcare workers who got double vaccinated before the second wave and have not got infected. They might become susceptible again and we must provide an appropriate way of protection like a booster (dose). And that is something for us to consider as we meet other priorities," he said.

Know more about hybrid immunity:

Hybrid immunity is the natural immunity from an infection combined with the immunity provided by the vaccine. The hybrid immunity reportedly provides stronger protection than just infection or vaccination alone.

Virologist Prof. Paul Bieniasz, who has conducted several studies of hybrid immunity with his colleagues at Rockefeller University in New York, said it develops in people who had COVID-19 early in the pandemic and are then vaccinated 6–12 months later.

(With ANI inputs)

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Published on: Friday, December 03, 2021, 09:30 PM IST
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