Hyderabad: Noted virologist Dr Jacob John has apprehended that children not vaccinated against Covid-19 are likely to develop diabetes as a consequence.
Participating in a panel discussion on ‘Variants, vaccines and us!’ here on Thursday, Dr John, former HoD (virology) at Christian Medical College, Vellore, said “What is not recognised is that children infected with Covid will be prone to diabetes. After recovery, they may also suffer from multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). Extensive studies show that immunity protects against all of them.”
Dr John, calling for vaccinating children at a much faster rate than is currently being done, added that in course of time even two-year-olds may be given the jab. He stated that both Delta and Omicron variants may coexist in the future.Another panelist, Dr V Ravi, former professor of neurovirology at NIMHANS, Bengaluru, said the data was showing that most people who had contracted Omicron had received two doses. He attributed this to the variant escaping the antibody response of the vaccine, and cautioned inoculated people not to let their guard down as they were vulnerable.
While the panelists unanimously recommended getting booster shots now, they felt it was too early to say if such shots would become an annual routine.
Dr V Ramasubramanian, consultant, infectious diseases & tropical medicine, Apollo Hospitals, said “We don’t have any evidence to say that there is any benefit of mixing two vaccines. Unfortunately, giving too much knowledge to the public is not the correct way to go about it. People come to me every day asking for monoclonal antibodies.”
Speaking on vaccine hesitancy in the country, Dr John said there appeared to be skepticism for a booster dose among people.
“We did not push for a booster dose in December, which is not a good augury,” said Dr Ramasubramanian.
Dr Saranya Narayan, technical director and chief microbiologist, Neuberg Diagnostics, said that going by tests, the positivity rate for the Omicron variant in Hyderabad was currently around 45 per cent.