Omicron likely to cause re-infections, surge in cases, say experts

What is the news? The new variant of COVID-19 i.e. Omicron is spreading across India. The experts say that the surge is likely due to reinfections (people getting infected with the virus again) and even vaccinated people getting infected. What are the concerns about this variant? More transmissible than Delta. This is evident from the… Continue reading Omicron likely to cause re-infections, surge in cases, say experts

Omicron’s lesson: We’re not covid-safe until everyone is

News: The emergence of Omicron has evoked fresh demands for booster shots. Rich countries continue to stockpile and administer booster shots, while people in many low and low-middle income countries wait for their first jab. However, the emergence of new variants from low-vaccination-coverage regions essentially means that covid could be a never-ending battle. The only… Continue reading Omicron’s lesson: We’re not covid-safe until everyone is

It’s time for a paradigm shift in how we treat illnesses

News: Antibiotics have become our preferred method of treatment nowadays. This has made treatments more standardised with no customised treatment for individuals irrespective of their genetic diversity. But, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has resulted in the emergence of antibiotic resistance, a worldwide health concern. Hence, we need to push for a better alternative medicine… Continue reading It’s time for a paradigm shift in how we treat illnesses

India needs to sign up for life course immunization

News Right from the days of smallpox, vaccines were designed for all age groups. However, after the smallpox eradication and launch of an expanded programme on immunisation (EPI), there were efforts to increase vaccination for children. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that there is a need to take stock of the status of… Continue reading India needs to sign up for life course immunization

Covaxin junior: Bharat Biotech’s kids’ vaccine is good news. But why is its vaccine for adults yet to get WHO clearance?

What is the news? Bharat Biotech is on the threshold of becoming the second Indian vaccine maker to receive an emergency use approval in the domestic market for a children’s Covid vaccine.  The company’s vaccine for children has received a conditional approval from an expert committee of the drug regulator. The next steps will have… Continue reading Covaxin junior: Bharat Biotech’s kids’ vaccine is good news. But why is its vaccine for adults yet to get WHO clearance?

Explained: What is Mosquirix, the first malaria vaccine to get the WHO’s backing?

What is the news?  The new vaccine “RTS,S/ASO1 (RTS.S)” with its trade name “Mosquirix” was endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently. This is the first and only vaccine shown to have the capability of significantly reducing malaria, and life-threatening severe malaria, in tests on young African children.  About the vaccine – Mosquirix  Mosquirix has been developed by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline… Continue reading Explained: What is Mosquirix, the first malaria vaccine to get the WHO’s backing?

“COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, DhanaurUddyam” was launched to accelerate the pace of Covid vaccination among tribal communities

What is the News? The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs has launched the “COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, DhanaurUddyam” campaign. What is the “COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, DhanaurUddyam” campaign? Aim: To accelerate the pace of Covid vaccination among tribal communities of India.  Under the campaign, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)… Continue reading “COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, DhanaurUddyam” was launched to accelerate the pace of Covid vaccination among tribal communities

India warns of reciprocal measures if UK doesnt recognise COVISHIELD

Synopsis: The UK seems to have adopted a discriminatory policy towards Indian manufactured Covishield. This has not gone down well within India. Introduction Recently, UK released new post-Covid travel rules. According to the new rules, fully vaccinated Indian individuals will be considered ‘unvaccinated’ and will have to undergo mandatory self-isolation. Why new UK rules are… Continue reading India warns of reciprocal measures if UK doesnt recognise COVISHIELD

India will resume exports of covid-19 vax from Oct to meet its commitments

What is the News? India will resume the export of COVID-19 vaccines under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme to fulfil the commitment towards COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access). What is the Vaccine Maitri Programme? Vaccine Maitri Initiative was launched by the Government of India in January 2021. Purpose: It is a humanitarian initiative undertaken by India… Continue reading India will resume exports of covid-19 vax from Oct to meet its commitments

A spike – India must prioritise vaccines to States and districts that are at greatest infection risk

Synopsis: Given the Indian population, vaccinating all adults itself is a challenge in India, given that supply challenges still persist. Introduction Recently, India administered a record 2.5 crore vaccine shots in a day to mark the celebration of the Prime Minister’s birthday. It is equivalent to the populations of the whole of Australia, two-thirds of… Continue reading A spike – India must prioritise vaccines to States and districts that are at greatest infection risk

New research: Scientists attempt to turn edible plants into vaccines

What is the News? Scientists and Researchers at the University of California are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories. What is the purpose of the project?  The project aims to demonstrate whether they can convert plants like spinach and lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories. What is the key… Continue reading New research: Scientists attempt to turn edible plants into vaccines

Should children be giving COVID 19 jabs

Synopsis: Vaccination has helped the world to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the debates over-vaccination of Children still continues. Introduction Covid-19 has impacted all sections of society, especially children. Debates have been going on to initiate Covid vaccination drives for children. This issue was raised, particularly in India, when the reopening of schools was tied… Continue reading Should children be giving COVID 19 jabs

How India ramped up its vaccination drive

Synopsis: India’s vaccination drives have evolved over the last two decades. It has overcome not just scientific challenges, but also social issues like hesitancy. Introduction India’s health infrastructure was put under severe stress by the 2nd COVID wave. The best remedy to prevent recurrence is to complete the vaccination drive. However, Vaccination faces a great… Continue reading How India ramped up its vaccination drive

COVID-19, kidney injury and need for vaccine shot

Synopsis: Covid-19 pandemic has long-term effects on internal organs. This article deals with issues with its impact on Kidney. Introduction: COVID-19 damages many organs including the lungs, heart and kidneys. A severe form of the disease is seen in older adults and people with chronic heart, kidney and lung diseases, diabetes or other conditions that… Continue reading COVID-19, kidney injury and need for vaccine shot

The great immunity debate of vaccines vs infection antibodies

What is the news? Recent studies showed that immunity induced by Pfizer shot waned quickly. This led to comparisons between immunity induced by the vaccine shot and the immunity induced by COVID infection. The comparison between vaccine immunity and infection-induced immunity Doctors say that the immunity induced by the vaccine lasts longer. Doctors also say… Continue reading The great immunity debate of vaccines vs infection antibodies

Why Moderna’s mRNA candidate brings new hope for an HIV vaccine

What is the News? Moderna has announced the human trials for two HIV vaccines, namely mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1644v2-Core. About the two HIV Vaccines The two vaccines are based on the same platform — mRNA — as Moderna’s Covid vaccine.  Working: The vaccine is expected to work similar to the Covid-19 vaccine — by getting the… Continue reading Why Moderna’s mRNA candidate brings new hope for an HIV vaccine

One vaccine makes more vaccine than another. Does it matter?

What is the news? The researchers are still working to understand how long their protection lasts, and how it differs from one person to another. Getting answers to these questions is a crucial step to determine who will need a booster shot. The studies have found that the Moderna Vs Pfizer vaccines have certain subtle… Continue reading One vaccine makes more vaccine than another. Does it matter?

DCGI approves clinical trials of Biological E. Covid-19 vaccine CORBEVAX

What is the News? Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Phase II/III clinical trials of the CORBEVAX vaccine in children aged above 5 years. It has also received the nod for conducting Phase III trials in adults. About CORBEVAX Vaccine: CORBEVAX is an indigenously produced COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Indian… Continue reading DCGI approves clinical trials of Biological E. Covid-19 vaccine CORBEVAX

Effectiveness of vaccines

Source: This post is based on the article “Effectiveness of vaccines” published in The Hindu on 2nd September 2021. What is the News? According to a study, natural infection confers stronger immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus than even full vaccination.  Background Natural Immunity following a virus infection lasts longer is already well known. For Example, People… Continue reading Effectiveness of vaccines

Three doses not two: Israel sets new benchmark for full vaccination. It is on India’s horizon as well

Source: This post is based on the article “Three doses not two: Israel sets new benchmark for full vaccination. It is on India’s horizon as well” published in the Times of India on 1st September 2021. Relevance: To understand the immunization process. Synopsis: With Israel adopting a 3 dose policy, what should be India’s policy… Continue reading Three doses not two: Israel sets new benchmark for full vaccination. It is on India’s horizon as well

The vaccine’s last mile problem

Source: This post is based on the article “The vaccine’s last-mile problem” published in The Hindu on 31st August 2021. Relevance: Universalisation of vaccination programme. Synopsis: In vaccination programmes, which have complex delivery requirements, the last mile means to make or break. Context The article highlights the problem of increased inequalities in vaccination, which have… Continue reading The vaccine’s last mile problem

Gennova’s mRNA vaccine gets clearance for Phase 2/3 clinical trials

Source: PIB What is the News? India’s first mRNA vaccine against coronavirus named “HGCO19” has been found to be safe and has been given the go-ahead from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to move into Phase II and III of clinical trials. About HGCO19 Vaccine: The HGCO19 is India’s first mRNA vaccine candidate.… Continue reading Gennova’s mRNA vaccine gets clearance for Phase 2/3 clinical trials

Zydus Cadila vaccine gets emergency nod

Source: Livemint, The Hindu, PIB, Business Standard What is the News? Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI’s) has granted emergency approval for Zycov-D vaccine. About Zycov-D: Zycov-D is a DNA plasmid-based Covid-19 vaccine developed by Zycov Cadilla Group in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology under the ‘Mission COVID Suraksha’. It is the world’s first… Continue reading Zydus Cadila vaccine gets emergency nod

We’ve successfully made Covid vaccines. Now, India must focus on drug development

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Issues related to the development and production of new antibiotics Synopsis: Efforts should be initiated to consolidate existing strengths in pharmaceuticals and support the country’s antibiotic needs Challenges posed by AMR India has one of the highest levels of antibiotic resistance. It complicates not only the treatment of life-threatening infections, but… Continue reading We’ve successfully made Covid vaccines. Now, India must focus on drug development

First Nasal Vaccine Developed by Bharat Biotech supported by DBT-BIRAC gets nod of regulator for Phase 2 Trial

Source: PIB What is the News? BBV154, the first Nasal Vaccine against Covid-19 has received the regulator’s nod for conducting Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. About BBV154: BBV154 is an intranasal replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus SARS-CoV-2 vectored vaccine. It is the first Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech. Click Here to read about… Continue reading First Nasal Vaccine Developed by Bharat Biotech supported by DBT-BIRAC gets nod of regulator for Phase 2 Trial

All WHO-approved jabs must be recognised for travel: UN

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Vaccination is essential for global economic recovery. The World Health Organization recently said that any COVID-19 vaccine it has authorised for emergency use should be recognised by countries as they open up their borders to inoculated travelers. The move could force Western countries to broaden their acceptance of two apparently less… Continue reading All WHO-approved jabs must be recognised for travel: UN

Vaccine battle among countries 

Source: Click here Syllabus: GS 2 – Health related issues Synopsis: Countries should refrain from engaging in vaccine battles and focus on global cooperation. Introduction  Almost all countries across the globe are in need of access to vaccines. But the developed countries are mindlessly collecting approved vaccines. Only the countries in the global south like… Continue reading Vaccine battle among countries 

Explained: What’s at stake in India’s biggest ever trial of tuberculosis vaccines

Recently,the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) has launched India’s first large-scale trial for two new tuberculosis(TB) vaccines. The two vaccines being tested in the trial are (a)Immuvac which is also known as mycobacterium indicus pranii or MIP and (b)VPM1002. Currently,Bacille Calmette-Guerin(BCG) vaccine is used in the routine Expanded Programme of Immunisation(EPI) in countries across the… Continue reading Explained: What’s at stake in India’s biggest ever trial of tuberculosis vaccines