New Delhi: Almost a month after the vaccination drive started on 16 January, a study has found that the elderly people have reacted with fewer symptoms after taking Covid-19 vaccine than people between the age limit of 20 and 40. The study, which was headed by Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, had collected information from 5,396 healthcare workers through an online survey between 29 January and 4 February.
The study, which was conducted by the Indian Medical Association-Kochi branch, found that 66% of those vaccinated reported at least one post-inoculation symptom. The commonest reported symptoms were tiredness (45%), myalgia (44%), fever (34%), headache (28%), local pain at infection site (27%), joint pain (12%), nausea (8%), and diarrhoea (8%).
Talking about the fewer symptoms among the elderly after administering Covid vaccine, Rajeev Jayadevan, vice chairman of the epidemiology cell, Indian Medical Association, Kerala state, told The Sunday Guardian, “Elderly people have lower reactogenicity compared to young and middle-aged people. Reactogenicity refers to the property of being able to produce immediate reactions after vaccination. A patient may develop immediate reactions such as fever or sore arm at the injection site and this is called reactogenicity. As age advances, reactogenicity decreases.”
Stating that there is no correlation between reactogenicity and immunogenicity, Rajeev Jayadevan told The Sunday Guardian, “If there is no adverse reaction among the elder population immediately after the vaccination, it only means that the patient has not developed reactogenicity. However, he/she will generate an immune response (immunogenicity) just like anyone else within a few weeks.”
The frequency of symptoms was found highest in respondents aged between 20 and 29 at 81.34% followed by 30-39 years (79.57%), 40-49 (67.94%), 50-59 (58.23%), 60-69 (44.76%), 70-79 years (33.73%), and 80-89 years (7.43%).
Speaking about the reason for the rise of Covid cases in Kerala, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan mentioned three facts. He told The Sunday Guardian, “One, the virus never follows a human narrative. The virus has its own behavioral pattern. Even Dr Michael Ryan of WHO has also mentioned the unpredictable virus behaviour pattern.”
He further told The Sunday Guardian, “Second, Kerala has three times more buildings per square kilometer than the national average. Most virus spread occurs indoors. It means that more people mingled with each other indoors which may have caused the rise in Covid-19 cases. Third, as the case fatality ratio was the lowest in Kerala, people had stopped fearing the virus which in fact led to lowering of their guard at public places.”