Can India Gain Herd Immunity Through The Pandemic?

April 27, 2021

According to reports, as of 8:00 on April 24, local time, in the past 24 hours, there were 346,786 newly confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in India, with a total of 16,610481 confirmed cases. Due to the deteriorating epidemic, the number of deaths from new coronary pneumonia has increased sharply.

The Indian virus strain has double mutations, but this is not the reason for the complete out-of-control of the epidemic

The double mutant strain of India B.1.617 has been detected in India since October 2020. Because it contains the E484Q and L452R mutations on the S protein, it is called the "double mutant" virus strain. Among the mutant strains in India, the proportion of B.1.617 is higher than that of the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 mutant strains. The proportion of B.1.617 has increased significantly since April, and the proportion has exceeded 70%. At present, many countries have banned flights to India. As of April 20, 2021, the double mutant strain of B.1.617 has been detected in more than 20 countries, and no major outbreaks similar to India have occurred in other countries. According to the epidemic trend suggested by genome data, the transmissibility of B.1.617 (Indian mutant) is comparable to that of B.1.17 (British mutant), and higher than that of B.1.351 (South African strain).

India's death rate rose rapidly in April

Since April 16, the daily death toll has exceeded 1,300, reaching a new high in the daily death toll of the new crown epidemic. The trend corresponds to the gradual increase in the proportion of B1.617 in India. The daily death toll rose to nearly 2,000 around April 25. The main reason was a medical run. When the oxygen supply can't keep up, many young patients may die. Originally, they only need a breath of oxygen to survive. What India needs most is oxygen. Oxygen is better than any medicine and can reduce the death of young patients.

Can India gain herd immunity through the pandemic

As of April 24, 2021, according to official data, the cumulative infection rate in India is 1.16%. It is estimated that it will take decades to reach the 70% level of herd immunity. At least millions of additional people will die. If this step is reached today after the 1918 pandemic, the government will definitely need to be held accountable by the people. Therefore, there is a very large uncertainty in the follow-up situation in India.

Does the India outbreak signal a vaccine failure

According to the study of the effect of mutant strains on serum neutralization and vaccines, it is found that samples of local vaccines and serum samples of recovered persons have reduced the neutralizing activity of B.1.617 by about 2 times. However, it is still effective against mutant strains. Although the total number of vaccines in India is second only to the United States and China, due to its large domestic population, the single-dose vaccination rate is 8.0%, and the vaccination rate is low. Not up to the level of stopping the spread of the epidemic. Although the British mutant strain is prevalent in Israel, its effect on vaccines has slightly decreased, but today the Israeli vaccination rate plus natural infection or protection rate reached more than 70%, declaring that the epidemic has been completely controlled. It shows once again that the current vaccine is still an important magic weapon to deal with the epidemic.

India's follow-up epidemic trend

Today, in March, India’s social control has been relaxed. Various traditional cultural festivals have been held many times, and social distancing measures have been completely abandoned. Moreover, when the epidemic first broke out, the government was not active enough to deal with the epidemic, and the epidemic would develop further within April. Even if it is to speed up vaccination now, it is too late, and a larger outbreak is still to come. Only by adopting extremely strict public health measures, the government taking a firm and correct response, and the people's good cooperation, can we tide over the current crisis.

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