Survey finds prevalence of antibodies against SARS-Cov 2 in UK at 14 per cent

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 03, 2021

Prevalence of antibodies among vaccine recipients higher at 37.9 per cent

Researchers at Imperial College London have presented round five of the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) programme.

The report is a cross-sectional community survey measuring the prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, among adults in England.

Round five of REACT-2 was carried out in the UK between January 26 and February 8. The survey covered people who had been inoculated with one or two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since the roll-out began in December 2020.

The current analysis is focused on recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 12,820 of whom had received at least one dose.

The final survey cohort included questionnaire responses from 1,72,099 people, with valid IgG antibody results also available for 1,55,172.


The findings of the analysis suggests that the overall prevalence of IgG antibodies is 13.9 per cent. The prevalence among vaccine recipients is 37.9 per cent, compared with 9.8 per cent among unvaccinated individuals.

For unvaccinated individuals, antibody prevalence was higher among healthcare workers (21.9 per cent), care home workers (24.2 per cent), and in the Black (22.4 per cent) and Asian (20 per cent) ethnicities, those living in more deprived areas (12.3 per cent), people living in London (16.9 per cent) and those aged 18 to 29 years (14.5 per cent).

The report noted that increased prevalence was also observed among key workers, including those in .education (11.4 per cent), public transport (12.2 per cent) and other public-facing roles, than among non-key workers (7.8 per cent).

Other unvaccinated groups with high antibody prevalence included people of the Bangladeshi (25.4 pe cent), African (23.4 per cent), and Pakistani (21.9 per cent) ethnic subcategories.

Low vaccine hesitancy

The report revealed that confidence in vaccination was high overall (92.0 per cent). But this was lower in some of the higher prevalence groups such as younger people and those of Black ethnicity.

Among 971 individuals who had received two doses of vaccine, antibody positivity was high (91.1 per cent) across all age groups, although it was lower in the 80-plus age group, than among those younger than 50.

Among those who had received only one dose, 84.1 per cent of those aged under 60 had tested positive for antibodies, with a decreasing trend observed for increasing age.

The findings of the report were published in the journal News Medical and Life Sciences.

Published on March 03, 2021

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