Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
By Tharini Ilanchezhian
Facebook has banned about 300 accounts that were found propagating a false message that claimed that the vaccine drug synthesized by the firms AstraZeneca and Pfizer can possibly turn humans into chimpanzees.
The networks of accounts that have their origin from Russia have targeted the users of India, US and the Latin America.
According to the statements of a report published on Tuesday, the investigators had traced the origin of this misinformation to the campaign of Fazze, subordinate of a UK registered marketing company that operates mainly from Russia.
The company went on say that, this misleading information had taken its pace in various social media platforms such as Facebook and its sister platform, Instagram, tik-tok and YouTube. Popular influencers of these platforms were also urged to post this fake content with the use of certain hash-tags.
Facebook called this misleading anti-vaccine campaign, 'Disinformation Laundromat'. The actions carried out by this network have violated the policies of Facebook through coordinated and inauthentic behaviour.
The Russian linked marketing company started this campaign of spreading false information about COVID-19 by the months of November and December last year, when it started circulating memes that conveyed that the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca's vaccines turned humans into chimpanzees.
Also, in the past, Facebook has banned misinformation that spread about the novel corona virus and fake news that circulated about the fake cures and the deaths that were falsely linked to the fatalities caused by the virus. This information could possibly create a sense of panic and grief among the public and cause unnecessary tension.
During the month of July, President Joe Biden had placed accusation on the company stating that the company had "killed people" by facilitation the spread of fake information about corona virus. In spite of softening his claims, he played his part by urging Facebook to combat this issue with full-fledged efforts.
During the span of this pandemic, Facebook has reportedly removed a total of about 18 million posts that contained false information regarding the corona virus. The company doesn't share the exact number of people who get exposed to these false contents, which remains to be relatively huge.
Facebook still has its investigations ongoing and has questions about who had commanded the anti-vaccine campaign and allegedly commissioned Fazze to carry it out.
By Tharini Ilanchezhian
The Drug Controller General of India, DCGI has given approval to a study to be conducted at the Christian Medical College (CMC),Vellore on mixing the doses of the covid-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, official sources said on Wednesday.
The trial involves a total of 300 volunteers. "The research study will be held at Christian Medical College, Vellore", said Dr. V K Paul, Niti Aayog on a press meet that happened on Tuesday. The objective of this study is to determine whether a person can be given vaccination shots of two different vaccines, one with the Covishield and the other shot with Covaxin to complete the inoculation process.
On the other hand, a recent study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR involving 98 people, out of whom 18 people who had accidentally received Covishield as the first and the Covaxin as second dose responded better than the people who received both shots with the same vaccine, in Uttar Pradesh.
This illustrated that the mix of the two vaccines resulted in a better immunogenicity than two doses of the same vaccine. The study has another important revelation that says, the side and adverse effects of the mix of vaccines is same as that of the same vaccine regiment.
This study can possibly boost the confidence of the general public since the nation-wide vaccination program has stepped into the fourth month of its existence and the fact of mixing the different doses created a sense of panic in the public. This could potentially cause higher vaccine hesitancy in the future.
On this eventual backdrop, due to the urge of necessity, it had become almost an indispensable duty for the government to conduct this study. Including the 18 individuals who had received the first dose of Covishield and the second dose of Covaxin, 40 other recipients of two doses of Covishield and 40 recipients with two doses of Covaxin were recruited for this study.
Experts view the mixing of the two vaccines as a best way to deal with the current vaccine shortage that the country is facing on a huge scale. There are also arguments that say there must be multi-level studies that should be undertaken in order to come to a definitive conclusion about the mixing of the vaccines.
Covishield, the Oxford University Astra Zeneca shot and Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd., are the first two vaccines that were approved by DCGI, the drug controller of India in the nation-wide drive that started in the wake of the pandemic.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given a green signal for the task of conducting a study on the mixing of India's two main COVID-19 vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday, 11 August.A Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on July 29, recommended for conducting this study on mixing of the two shots.
The expert committee recommended granting permission to CMC, Vellore, for conducting the Phase-4 clinical trial which may conduct the study on 300 healthy volunteers by administered a dose of each of Covaxin and Covishield.
However, the DCGI's approval for the study on mixing the vaccines is different from the recent study of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which concluded that combining two different shots is "safe and effective".
The Oxford-AstraZeneca jab gives powerful protection that may last a whole lifetime, a new study has found.
Apart from generating virus-busting antibodies, the vaccine also creates "training camps" in the body for search-and-destroy T-cells which can kill even the new variants, The Sun, UK, reported.
It means the body can continue making these vital cells long after the antibodies have waned, as possible for the rest of your life, it said.
Scientists from Oxford, the UK, and Switzerland, writing in the journal 'Nature', said that T-cell protection is a "key feature" of adenovirus vaccines like the Oxford and J&J jabs.
As per the report, researcher Burkhard Ludewig from Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland said: "The T-cells that come from these cellular training camps appear to have a very high level of 'fitness'.
"Adenoviruses have co-evolved with humans over a very long time and learned a lot about the human immune system in the process.
"Viruses are always the best teachers, and here they have taught us an important lesson about how best to boost killer T-cell responses.
"Hopefully we can put this to good use in designing new vaccines targeting other diseases like TB, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer."
The researchers found that adenoviruses can get into long-lived tissue cells, known as fibroblastic reticular cells, which act as "training grounds" for T-cells.
Previous studies have shown that the Oxford jab is more effective in generating T-cells than mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.
T-cell levels are difficult to measure, but the new study gives hope that they may last a lifetime, the report said.
Paul Klenerman from the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford said: "Millions of people have received adenovirus vaccines around the world. The ultimate goal with these vaccines is the induction of long-term immune system protection using both antibodies and T-cells.
"This research helps us to understand more on the process of vaccination, and why the effects on killer T-cells are so prolonged." (IANS/AD)