A study carried out by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura has found that 95 per cent of individuals in Sri Lanka who were injected with both doses of the Sinopharm vaccine have developed antibodies to fight the coronavirus.  It was found that the vaccine developed higher antibodies to the Beta variant, which was found in South Africa and the Delta variant which originated in India, than the Alpha variant which was found in the UK.  282 people took part in the study.

According to a medical expert, 95 per cent is a good result because a level of 100 per cent is near impossible with any vaccine.  ‘It will reduce transmission of the virus, he said.  

The results of the study, carried out by the University’s Department of Immunology Molecular and Molecular Medicine, are still to be peer-reviewed and are therefore not the last word.  ‘But these researchers are very good, said a medical expert.  The 31- member research team included Professor Neelika Malavige who is a key member of the research team at Oxford University conducting antibody tests into Covid 19, Professor Chandima Jeewandara and professors Alain Townsend and Graham Oggwho are both researchers at Oxford University.

The team also found that the development of antibodies varied according to the age group. The antibody levels of those over 60 years were 93. 3 per cent and significantly lower than those between 20 and 39 years which was 98.9 per cent. More than 81 per cent of those who took part in the study had developed antibodies at six weeks.  

Sri Lanka has been receiving a steady supply of vaccines in the past weeks. While most of them have been the Sinopharm vaccine, five million doses of the Pfizer and 1.5 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine are expected by the end of this month. Around one million vaccines which are remaining from the original order given by the government of Sri Lanka to the Serum Institute in India, are also expected to arrive.  Around 60 per cent of the population are expected to have got the second dose by the end of the year.

Currently, there are about 180 vaccines that are being trialled and are on the WHO list.  About 17 are close to being finalized.



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