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Spreading harmony: India to gift sapling of the sacred Bodhi Tree to China and Mongolia



By NewsGram Staff Writer

A temple official of Bodh Gaya today informed that India will gift a sapling of the sacred Bodhi Tree to China and Mongolia.

N. Dorjee, the member secretary of Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC), said that the priests of Bodh Gaya’s Mahabodhi temple performed rituals before the sapling were sent to Delhi.

He added that a special prayer was organized in the holy premises of the Mahabodhi temple for the healthy growth of the sapling.

According to BMTC officials, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) had sent a letter, addressed to the Bihar government, asking for the sapling of the sacred tree.

A permission from home department of Bihar was requested, and after getting a clearance from there, the sapling were prepared out of the seeds fallen from the Bodhi Tree.

“A high level delegation of the Indian government would take the sapling of the sacred Bodhi Tree during their visit to China and Mongolia later this month and would be presented to the government there as a good gesture,” said the chief monk of the temple, Bhikkhu Chalinda.

The Mahabodhi temple is a World Heritage Site where the Buddha attained enlightenment around 2,500 years ago. The sacred place is of utmost importance for the Buddhists. The devotees of Buddha revere not only the Bodhi Tree, but even its leaves are worshiped by them.

The Bodh Gaya temple is visited by millions of pilgrims annually from all over the world, especially from Sri Lanka, China, Japan and the Southeast Asian region. Till date, the sapling of Bodhi Tree was gifted to Sri Lanka, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal and Bhutan.

Now gifting the sapling to China would definitely help towards improving the relation between the two countries.

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS