Delta and Omicron both may co-circulate: Neuberg panelists

The virologists at Neuberg Diagnostics’ Panel discussion mentioned the importance of kids vaccine, booster doses and RT-PCR test

New Update
Delta and Omicron both may co-circulate: Neuberg panelists

The relevance of children's vaccination, same shot booster doses, and RT-PCR tests was emphasised by virologists and health experts at Neuberg Diagnostics' Panel discussion on 'VARIANTS, VACCINES, and US.' According to experts, we are unlikely to return to the pre-Covid age anytime soon. Rather, we will most likely have to coexist with Delta and Omicron forms in the future. Both of these variations will continue to circulate, they agreed.

Neuberg Diagnostics brings together best-in-class laboratories from India, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa to deliver cutting-edge technology and methodologies to developing countries. The Neuberg brings capabilities to perform over 6000 types of pathological investigations and promotes Prevention & Early Diagnosis, Focused Wellness Programs, and Structured Disease Management programmes for rare diseases using the most advanced technologies aided by Data science and AI tools, leveraging their combined strengths.

Dr. T Jacob John, Former Director, ICMR's Centre of Advanced Research in Virology, Retired professor and Head of the Department of Clinical Virology and Microbiology at CMC Vellore emphasized on vaccinating children quickly to minimize the virus transmission and risk of emergence of new variants by mutations.

Dr. T Jacob John said, "I am an ardent advocate of children's vaccination with vaccines which are safe and effective, for example Covaxin. The risk of disease/death is low but not zero even in normal children. Post-infection they are at risk for multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and for diabetes -- Children with chronic diseases are at high risk of COVID itself -- all these are prevented by vaccination. If children are left unvaccinated, they will act as a virus reservoir, and we know that Omicron infects children quite readily".

He added, "Omicron has two significant properties. One, it has extremely high transmission efficiency, far more than that of Delta, and its propensity to evade immunity induced by past infections and vaccinations. These properties are conferred by a large number of mutations on its spike protein gene.

While Delta has two mutations on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein, Omicron has 15. This has resulted in evasion from antibody binding, necessary for protection. Neutralising antibodies against the spike protein of the original virus, induced by all available vaccines (mRNA or adenovirus-vectored) are relatively ineffective against Omicron. However, recent experience shows that very high levels of antibodies that result from booster doses offer protection, especially from severe disease needing hospitalization."

Dr. V. Ravi, Former Professor of Neurovirology says, in symptomatic patients, self-test kits such as antigen testing provide reliable results; however, asymptomatic people must undergo RT-PCR tests for results, especially when there is a large increase in cases. Omicron is more common in those who have been twice vaccinated, according to existing research.

It is unrealistic to expect sterilising immunity and protection from the Covid-19 vaccination. Their primary goal is to prevent serious illness and death. Nasal vaccinations appear to have a lot of potential. When these become available in the market, they will give a respectable level of protection.

In India, there is no clear evidence on the combining of two distinct vaccines. As a result, we believe that continuing to use the same dose vaccine as a booster is in our best interests.

Dr. V. Ramasubramanian, Apollo Hospitals, say that even in comparison to the Delta variety, when the age of infection was already greatly reduced, there has been an increase in children presenting with high fever. The age limit has now been lowered to 5 to 6 years for those who have had a temperature of 102 to 103 degrees. Surprisingly, their fever either goes away in 24 hours or takes 4 to 5 days to go away. All of these instances are symptomatic and responding to treatment. They are also experiencing acute throat pain in addition to the temperature. The majority of them are unable to swallow food. We've noted that antibiotic use has increased in recent weeks as a result of high fever and throat pain.

Latest Stories