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Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".
Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.
"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.
"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: cowin, covid, india, people, Rohit bansal, Sonu kumar, vaccine, snapdeal, registrations
China's CoronaVac and Sinopharm Covid vaccines may be waning in immunity levels, several studies have shown. CoronaVac and Sinopharm -- both inactivated vaccines, which use killed SARS-CoV-2 virus -- account for almost 50 per cent of the 7.3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered globally. China administered about 2.4 billion doses of the vaccines to its citizens, but almost one billion doses have gone to 110 other countries, particularly the less wealthy nations, Nature reported.
However, many countries, including Seychelles and Indonesia, which used the vaccines reported Covid-19 surges earlier this year, sparking a debate about their waning protection and the need for boosters. "These are not bad vaccines. They're just vaccines that haven't been optimised yet," Gagandeep Kang, a virologist at the Christian Medical College in India's Vellore, who advises SAGE, was quoted as saying. After receiving a second dose of CoronaVac, only 60 per cent had high levels of neutralising antibodies one month, compared to with 86 per cent of those who had received two shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, revealed a study of 185 health-care workers in Thailand, not yet peer-reviewed.
China's CoronaVac and Sinopharm Covid vaccines may be waning in immunity levels, several studies have shown. | Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash
After three months, the antibody prevalence dropped to just 12 per cent in the same group, Opass Putcharoen, an infectious-diseases specialist at the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Center in Bangkok, was quoted as saying. However, "waning of antibodies isn't necessarily the same as waning of immune protection", noted Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong.
CoronaVac induces a significantly lower antibody response compared with Pfizer-BioNTech's mRNA jab one month after two doses, however, the T-cell response was comparable, showed a study from Hong Kong, also not peer-reviewed. Vaccines made using other technologies have seen a similar trend of waning antibodies and protection against infection, but more-robust protection against severe disease and death. But researchers say that because the Chinese inactivated vaccines start at a lower base of neutralising antibodies, the protection they offer could drop faster than those with a stronger head start, the Nature report said.
However, a drop in protection can prove deadly for the elderly. An analysis of about one million people, hospitalised with Covid-19 in Brazil, showed that CoronaVac offered up to 60 per cent protection against severe disease up to the age of 79. But in people over 80, CoronaVac was only 30 per cent effective at preventing severe disease and 45 per cent effective against death. As a result, several countries, including Chile, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and China, are giving booster jabs of mRNA or viral-vector vaccine to people who received the CoronaVac or Sinopharm vaccines, the report said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: antibodies, waning, coronavac, protection, vaccines
GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO —A case of Ebola has been confirmed in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the health minister said Friday, five months after the end of the most recent outbreak there.
It was not immediately known if the case was related to the 2018-20 outbreak that killed more than 2,200 people in eastern Congo, the second deadliest on record, or the flare-up that killed six this year.
A 3-year-old boy tested positive near the eastern city of Beni, one of the epicenters of the 2018-20 outbreak, and died from the disease Wednesday, Health Minister Jean Jacques Mbungani said in a statement.
About 100 people who may have been exposed to the virus have been identified and will be monitored to see if they develop symptoms, he added.
An internal report from Congo's biomedical laboratory said that three of the toddler's neighbors in Beni's densely populated Butsili neighborhood also presented symptoms consistent with Ebola last month and died, but none were tested.
Congo has recorded 12 outbreaks since the disease, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, and is spread through contact with bodily fluids, was discovered in the equatorial forest near the Ebola River in 1976.
"Thanks to the experience acquired in managing the Ebola virus disease during previous epidemics, we are confident that the response teams ... will manage to control this outbreak as soon as possible," Mbungani said.
It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following a major outbreak, health experts say. Particles of the virus can remain present in semen for months after recovery from an infection.
The disease typically kills about half of those it infects, although treatments developed since the record 2014-16 outbreak in West Africa have significantly reduced death rates when cases are detected early.
Two highly effective vaccines manufactured by Merck and Johnson & Johnson have also been used to contain outbreaks since then.
The 2018-20 outbreak, however, became as deadly as it did because the response was hampered by mistrust of medical workers by the local population as well as violence by some of the armed militia groups active in eastern Congo. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Ebola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Health, Epidemic, Vaccines
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Saturday held in New York. Prime Minister Modi touched on various issues ranging from making nasal vaccines in India to making an indirect remark on Pakistan for using terrorism as a political tool. PM Modi also highlighted how India is the mother of all democracies and how strategically and effectively India has managed the Covid-19 pandemic. He made comments on the developments in Afghanistan and poverty alleviation.
India: Mother of democracy
In his address at the UNGA session, PM Modi said that for the last one and a half years the world has been facing the biggest global epidemic of the century. He further added that he represents the mother of all democracies, where there are dozens of languages, hundreds of dialects, and different lifestyles and cuisines. India is a shining example of a vibrant democracy and it is recognized for its diversity.
"Yes, democracy can deliver. Yes, democracy has delivered….When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms," Prime Minister Narendra Modi added during his address at the 76th UNGA.
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Manufacture Covid Vaccine India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address made efforts to make India a front-line fighter in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. He encouraged worldwide vaccine manufacturers to come to India and make vaccines in India, he said "I, today, invite vaccine manufacture around the world — come, make vaccines in India," He emphasized India's successfully developing the world's first DNA vaccine and added that the vaccine can be administered to anyone above the age of 12. The mRNA vaccine is in its final stage of development. India's scientists are working on developing a nasal vaccine for the coronavirus.
The mRNA vaccine is in its final stage of development. India's scientists are working on developing a nasal vaccine for the coronavirus.PTI
PM Modi put a spotlight on how India managed the "second wave" and emerged as part of the solution for the pandemic. When faced with the second wave India launched a plan "Vaccine Maitri" to reach the capitals with fewer resources at the time when other developed countries obstinately kept their borders closed. This improved India's image worldwide for its goodwill. Highlighting the government's latest decision of resuming the export of vaccines to the under-resourced countries Pm Modi said, "Understanding its responsibility towards humanity, India has once again started giving the vaccine to the needy in the world."
Criticized Pakistan and China
PM Modi referred to the issue regarding the "origin of the Covid virus" aka China and the cancellation of the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business Index", pointing towards China for lack of transparency in the global institutions. Turning towards Pakistan he argued, "...Countries with regressive thinking that are using terrorism as a political tool needs to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat for them. It has to be ensured that Afghanistan isn't used to spread terrorism or launch terror attacks..."
Protect our oceans
70% of the earth is water, oceans being a massive part of it. PM Modi added on making optimal use of oceans as a life resource. "Our oceans are also the lifeline of international trade. We must protect them from the race for expansion. The international community must speak in one voice to strengthen a rule-based world order," he added in his address at the 76th UNGA session.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke on the climate crisis, his speech can be seen as an effort based on evidence to transform India's image on an international platform for crisis management.
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