Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Close to one-fifth of 18 percent of citizens or someone in their social network could not find a Covid-19 jab when they went for vaccination in the first 10 days of April, as per a Local Circles survey. However, amid the 2nd wave of Covid cases across the country, India is now reporting over 1,50,000 daily cases far surpassing the peak of 97,400 it hit in 2020. As India expands its vaccination drive with vaccines now being made available to all above the age of 45 and plans to inoculate 50 lakh people each day, leaders of some states in India are reporting a vaccine shortage.
Citizens from locations like Mumbai and parts of the Delhi National Capital region have also shared their feedback on LocalCircles suggesting that some hospitals have boards indicating that they either have limited doses or no doses available on a particular day. However, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has indicated that the country has enough doses.
To understand what people are exactly facing on the ground, LocalCircles has conducted a survey to gauge if people who have gone to the vaccination centers have in fact experienced this shortage as claimed by some. The survey received more than 24,000 responses from citizens located in 255 districts of India.
18 percent of citizens or someone in their social network could not find a vaccine dose when they went for vaccination in the first 10 days of April. India has administered over 10 crore vaccine doses to its citizens since the immunization drive began on January 16 this year. It has also supplied more than 481 lakh doses of Covid-19 to more than 80 countries across the world under the ‘vaccine maitri’ program as well as under direct supply agreements by the Serum Institute of India.
As per the survey, however, the worrying factor is that amidst the spike in Covid cases across India, media ground reports from states are suggesting that just over five days of vaccine stocks are currently remaining, while an additional week’s supply is in the pipeline. In states like Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, current stocks are for less than two days, and in others, like Odisha have barely enough for four days. The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs has said that India’s move on the export of vaccines would be done keeping in mind the domestic requirements, the survey said.
As posts and comments were received from people across India about vaccination centers displaying their current stock level as well as some people returning from vaccination centers without getting inoculated, the survey sought to understand from citizens if they or anyone in their social network faced a scenario in the first 10 days of April that they or someone in their network went to get vaccinated and the center was out of vaccine stock.
In response, 6 percent said “happened with 4 or more individuals in my social network”, 6 percent said “happened with 2-3 individuals in my social network”, and another 6 percent said “happened with one individual in my social network”. There were, however, 76 percent saying “did not happen with anyone”, while 6 percent couldn’t’ say. The aggregate response indicated that 18 percent of citizens had someone in their social network who could not get a vaccine dose when they went for vaccination in the first 10 days of April. This question in the survey received 9,016 responses.
It may be noted that many senior citizens got their first dose in the first 10 days of March and were scheduled to go for getting their second dose during the first 10 days of April. As per Local Circles, some went as scheduled and some decided to follow the revised 6-8 week gap between two doses of Astrazeneca vaccine or Serum’s Covishield in India.18 percent of citizens or their family/friends facing the issue of going to a vaccination center but not getting the vaccine is something that must be looked into by the Central and State Governments, the survey said.
The shortage may be due to suboptimal local distribution, while it is also possible that certain centers or locations have a genuine shortage. It must also be noted that as the 2nd wave of Covid strengthened in India, 77 percent of citizens in the LocalCircles survey in April expressed interest in taking the vaccine. The number stood at 38 percent when India started its vaccination drive thereby marking a major decline in vaccine hesitancy in the 80 days period. This decline in vaccine hesitancy could also be contributing to the demand-supply mismatch, the survey said.
As per the survey, the Serum Institute of India currently produces 2 million vaccines a day, and Bharat Biotech produces 0.3 million vaccines in a day. If India continues to vaccinate 3 million people a day and if these two providers are unable to scale their production, India will need to import vaccines from other countries. Such a move has the support of 56 percent of citizens surveyed who are in favor of India getting Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J to conduct trials and make the vaccine available here by June. (IANS/JC)
Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies, which help the immune system recognize and fight viruses including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and other causes of infectious disease. The gene -- FAM72A -- facilitates production of high-quality antibodies by enabling the effect of an enzyme called AID (for Activation-Induced Deaminase), the researchers showed.
Immunologists have known for two decades that AID is essential to produce antibodies capable of clearing infections, but the full mechanism of its effect has remained unknown. "Our findings answer the long-standing question of how AID does its work," said Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. "FAM72A helps AID to promote mutations in antibody genes that are essential for the development of effective antibodies," he added.
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. | Pixabay
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. In the context of antibody development, mutagenesis unfolds largely through the AID-driven mechanisms called somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination -- both of which help antibodies gain the diversity and potency they need to counter a wide range of pathogens.
The results published in the journal Nature will help researchers better understand antibody development broadly, but they also have implications for cancer. Uncontrolled mutagenesis in B cells that produce antibodies is linked to B cell lymphoma, and FAM72A is present at very high levels in other cancers such as gastrointestinal, breast, lung, liver and ovarian cancers.
"Our data show that high levels of FAM72A promote mutations in antibody genes, so increased levels of FAM72A could spur cancer development, progression or drug resistance by increasing mutagenesis,a Martin said. Martin's team is now exploring those possibilities. Intriguingly, unlike other mammals, humans have four gene versions of FAM72A and their roles in cancer and antibody production are still unknown. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: researchers, cancer, mutagenesis, antibody, development, antibodies, canada, COVID
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.
This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.
The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash
This 50 MW solar power project will reduce CO2 emission by 91,020 tonnes per annum and carbon offsets of around 24,824 tonnes per annum, claimed the MCL. MCL is the leading production subsidiary of Coal India, having mining operations in Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. Having achieved the highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 2,419 crore in the financial year 2020-21, the company has coal production and dispatch targets of 163 million tonnes and 182 million tonnes, respectively.
MCL was the coal mining company to introduce environment-friendly surface miner technology, which contributes over 95 per cent in coal production. As another environment-friendly initiative, the company has successfully introduced vertical rippers for blast-less over-burden removal in Hingula and Kaniha opencast projects. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: solar plant, carbon neutrality, Odisha, Sambalpur, Coal India, subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, solar energy
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday