ST. PETERSBURG, August 7. /TASS/. Children of pre-school and primary school age and people over the age of 70 develop the maximum percentage of novel coronavirus antibodies, scientists from the St. Petersburg Pasteur Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology found out during a large-scale research on COVID-19 herd immunity conducted in more than 20 Russian regions.
"In the overwhelming number of regions, the maximum level of the immune layer is observed in children’s groups, that is, pre-school and primary school age, followed by people aged 70 plus. When we conducted the study, we were prepared for the fact that, on the contrary, we will get the minimum level of the immune layer among those aged over 70. However, it turned out that this was not the case," Director of the Institute, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Areg Totolian, told TASS on Friday.
The assessment of herd immunity is a program promoted by the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, with 26 Russian regions involved in it. The St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute developed the research algorithm. The first stage of the study is over in 23 regions now, about 3,000 volunteers have been examined.
Determining the herd immunity level will lay the groundwork for forecasting the coronavirus situation better, Totolian went on to say. "As soon as vaccine production begins, vaccination will be required. Naturally, the question arises - who should be vaccinated first, who should be the second and the third, and who has a sufficient level of immunity and does not need any vaccination at all. Our research answers that question as well," he added.
The second stage of the study is scheduled for late August and early September. Its results will be available by mid-September.