Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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COVID-19 vaccination: Immune response in healthcare workers—A study with review of literature

1 Department of Pathology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sarika Singh,
Department of Pathology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpm.ijpm_126_22

Background: As the world has been going through a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the past two years, a safe and effective vaccine was urgently needed. Vaccination against the disease was launched in India on January 16, 2021 with healthcare workers, frontline workers, and the elderly above 60 years being the first beneficiaries. Vaccines being used in India are Covishield and Covaxin. Material and methods: Fifteen healthcare workers (HCWs) who were vaccinated with Covishield or Covaxin were included in the study, and T cell, B cell and antibody response of the HCWs were analyzed. Blood samples collected from every subject were sent for antibody analysis, hematological workup for cell counts, and flow cytometry was performed for various subsets of lymphocytes. Hematological variables in naïve HCWs (who never had any natural infection) and recovered HCWs (those recovered from natural infection) were compared. Results: Antibody index among recovered HCWs was significantly higher than the naïve HCWs. All the leucocyte parameters showed a higher median value in the recovered group except total leucocyte count (TLC), T helper cell count (Th cell), T helper cell to T cytotoxic cell (Th cell: CTL) ratio and natural killer (NK) cell. But only Th: CTL ratio showed a statistically significant difference. Conclusion: This study shows that the antibody index among individuals who had both vaccination and COVID-19 infection is significantly higher than those who just had vaccination. T helper cell to T cytotoxic cell ratio is lowered in the recovered HCWs as compared to the naïve HCWs and this finding is statistically significant.

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