Booster 3rd Dose – Why is It Essential?

Most countries around the world have started giving booster doses to already vaccinated people. Its entry into India slowed down due to the huge population. Giving 2 doses of vaccines to each of the Indian citizens was in itself a challenging task. Then there was a problem of giving conventional Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccines to children. Also, as most of the vaccines were given late, after the 2nd wave, the herd immunity for Covid-19 persisted amongst the masses. But now, at the turn of the new year, most vaccines have become ineffective due to ageing, and require a boost up using the 3rd dose. The beginning of the third wave, from the last week of December, sparked the 3rd dose vaccination drive for adults and the indigenous Covaxin drive for children.

The main question is, how are people getting affected after receiving two doses of vaccination. There can be two causes, one is that the vaccines are not effective against the new variants, and the other one is that the immunity due to the vaccine has gone down. The second cause is the most probable, as the vaccines are known to be effective against the new dominant strain, Omicron. A Lancet study has found that immunity against Covid-19 by Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine wanes after 3 months of receiving the 2nd dose. Researchers found that immunity declines after 3 months when the chances of hospitalization and dying doubles than that of two weeks after receiving the 2nd dose. The study was conducted on 2 million citizens of Scotland and 42 million citizens of Brazil who have taken the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine.

The chance of hospitalization becomes thrice after 4 months and 5 times after 5 months of vaccination. However, other vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna shows much slower rates of ageing. A booster dose is needed after 5 months to boost up the immunity against Covid-19. Latest studies found that the booster dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna is significantly effective against the new Omicron variant. Currently, due to the large population, as well as a scarcity of vaccines in the country, the interval between 2nd and booster 3rd dose of Covishield is now pegged at 39 weeks by the Indian Government.

The waning of immunity is the prime cause of the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in India post-Christmas. The year-end celebrations around the country were followed by the advent of the third wave of Covid-19. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and other big cities have already witnessed partial lockdowns and restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19. The booster dose and Covaxin for children have been made available. Currently, the booster shot is being given only to doctors, health workers and people above the age of 60. Keep updated on the 3rd dose availability and get vaccinated as soon as it is available to you.

Written by – Himadri Paul

RUSSIAN VACCINE; SPUTNIK V

       The SPUTNIK V vaccine was found by Gamaleya National research institute, Moscow, Russia. The covid-19 vaccine SPUTNIK V [ Gam-COVID-vac ] is an adenoviral-based two-part vaccine against the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus. SPUTNIK V uses weakened viruses to deliver small parts of pathogens and stimulate an immune response. It is a vector vaccine based on adenovirus DNA in which SARS – COV -2 coronavirus gene is integrated.

Third vaccine launch in INDIA; when and how much all you need to know? 

                     Deepak Sapra, the CEO of API and services at Dr. Reddy’s laboratories, which are manufacturing the Russian vaccine in India, confirmed the launch of the SPUTNIK V vaccine on Friday. It is the second most expensive vaccine to be launched in India as it has been priced at rupees 995.40, including goods and service tax. As the Russian vaccine is also to be manufactured in India, No word on pricing for the India-made shots yet, but the company aims to cut input costs as much as possible to offer it at the lowest price. A company has said the production of enough vaccines is expected to begin in mid-June. “We are pleased to announce that the first consignment of 1,50,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine has landed in Hyderabad from Russia,” said Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories CEO-API and Services Deepak Sapra. 

When will the SPUTNIK V be available? 

Since it has to be stored at a temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius, the vaccine will be available in 35 cities across India. As the tests are underway for keeping the wax in between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, and if results are favorable, a wide rollout is expected but faster. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the Russian sovereign wealth fund that has funded the vaccine, has signed pacts with five Indian companies to produce 850 million doses. The doses will not only be made in India but also exported to third countries. Between June 2021 to March 2022, around 238 million doses will be produced in the country. India is also expected to get 11 million doses in the form of fill and finish. After getting clearance from the Drug regulator in the country, the vaccine was finally launched in the country on Friday. The first dose of the vaccine was administered to an adult in Hyderabad on Friday. 

Let’s compare; COVISHEILD, COVAXIN to SPUTNIK V

●    COVISHEILD, manufactured by the serum institute of India, costs rupees 300 per dose and rupees 600 in private hospitals. International clinical trials of COVISHEILD have shown 90 % efficiency when people are given half doors and then full dose.

● A 24-year-old vaccine maker manufactures COVAXIN with a portfolio of 16 vaccines and exports to 123 countries – BHARAT BIOTECH used a sample of coronavirus, isolated by India’s National Institute of virology. The Covaxin is priced at rupees 600 for a single dose and 1200 rupees for private hospitals. COVAXIN has 81 percentage efficiency as for the final trials.

SPUTNIK V EFFICIENCY IN INDIA 

        ACCORDING TO A PUBLICATION IN A SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL, SPUTNIK V has an efficiency of 91.6%, The Lancet. In real-world data, SPUTNIK V compares ” very very favorable” with other global vaccines and is among the top two.

Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya research centre, said that a study has shown the SPUTNIK V vaccine is working well against new coronavirus mutations. Experts have said SPUTNIK V will be more effective in India. Yes, four deaths are reported after the vaccination trials, but the deaths are not related to the vaccination. As a total of 20000 volunteers have participated in the three trials of the SPUTNIK V vaccine, the study found no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V.

                       Sources :- NDTV , THE INDIAN EXPRESS , THE HINDU

Written by – R Mohamed Irfan

Vaccines for Covid-19

Novel coronavirus, which emerged from Wuhan city, China, in 2019 (thus called Covid-19), caused havoc worldwide. It is a new virus, and nothing was known about it when it outbroke in various countries. However, in record time, research was conducted, which came up with some valuable measures to control the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask, frequent sanitization, and maintaining social distancing are some of the control measures taken throughout the world. However, that was not enough to stop the virus from spreading or save someone from dying. The most crucial need of the hour was a vaccine that can protect all from the virus and be safe for human use.

Many vaccines circulating throughout the world are partially effective for Covid-19 treatment (no vaccine has claimed 100% efficacy yet). Each vaccine has its own specialities and drawbacks. Also, the governments of many countries have circulated only a particular vaccine among their citizens.

So let us find out which vaccine is available in your country and which vaccine is suitable for you.

1)Sputnik V :
In record time, Russia made the world’s first vaccine for Covid-19, the Sputnik V, on August 11, 2020. The vaccine underwent widespread trials throughout Russia and was deemed both safe and effective. It also has a high efficacy of 91.6%, as reported in phase 3 trials. Sputnik V is a viral vector vaccine that is given in two doses 3-10 weeks apart. Viral vector vaccines contain live viruses that produce immunity to fight the primary Covid-19 disease. Although the two doses are different, immunity is provided by both the vectors together. It is widely available in Russia and China and is planned to be manufactured by many other countries, including Hungary, South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Argentina. India got its approval for the use of Sputnik V in late April amid difficult pandemic situation in the country. The first batch of Sputnik V arrived on May 1, 2021, and more collections are to come soon.

2)Covaxin :
One of the earliest vaccines to be found effective was India’s indigenously developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is an inactivated vaccine where dead Covid-19 are injected which do not cause any infection but can trigger the immune system to produce antibodies. Its efficacy is 81% in phase 3 trials and can 100% eliminate severe symptoms. With research showing promising results, it got approval in India on January 3, 2021, and has been subsequently transported to many countries, including Mauritius, Paraguay, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Philippines, Iran and Mexico have also approved Covaxin on emergency use.

3)Covishield :
The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is called by its brand name Covishield in India. It was invented by Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca and was approved in the UK in early December 2020. It was also the first vaccine to be approved by India along with Covaxin for emergency use on January 3, 2020. It consists of a weakened form of a common cold virus (an adenovirus) from chimpanzees modified to look like coronavirus. This viral vector vaccine is given in two doses which contain the same virus. Covishield claims 70% efficiency after the first dose and nearly 90% efficiency after the second dose (given after 12 weeks) and can 100% eliminate a severe infection. The two doses are given at an interval of 4 to 12 weeks, where increasing the gap between the doses tends to increase the efficiency. It has been approved by a large number of countries, including the US, the UK, the European Union, and many African and South Asian countries. It shows very rare side-effects of blood clotting, for which it is being considered to be banned in some European countries like Denmark, the reason being unknown. However, it is otherwise very effective and is widely available all across India, with Indian people hardly receiving any side effects.

4)Pfizer-BioNTech :
This is one of the best vaccines to prevent Covid-19 treatment with efficacy reaching 95%, developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech. It is also the first vaccine approved by WHO for emergency use on December 31, 2020. It is approved in developed countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, the European Union, Switzerland and Singapore. It is a nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the full-length spike protein of the Covid-19 virus. It is a two-dose vaccine with a gap of 21 days. Despite its popularity, minimal side-effects and availability, its main drawback is the storage facility. This vaccine should work only when stored and handled at a shallow temperature of -60℃ to -90℃. Unfortunately, no such super-cold storage facilities are available in India, nor do the supply chains. Thus it is not approved by the Indian Government at the present scenario.

5)Moderna :
Moderna is another high-efficiency vaccine invented by Moderna, the United States Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Similar to Pfizer-BioNTech, it involves nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the spike protein of Covid-19. It is given in 2 doses at a gap of 28 days. It also required ultra-cold storage facilities, which are not available in India at present. Hence the vaccine is yet to be approved by the Indian Government. It also has around 95% efficiency.

6)Sinopharm :
Sinopharm just got its approval from WHO on May 7, 2021, and it became the first non-Western approved vaccine. Sinopharm is developed in a traditional way as an inactivated vaccine similar to Covaxin. Sinopharm is developed in China, the country from where the virus originated. Sinopharm shows overall efficiency of 79%, while some countries like UAE and Bahrain reported 86% efficiency in their phase 3 trials. It is authorized for general use in Bahrain, UAE and Seychelles apart from China, while it is approved for emergency use in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Maldives. It is also a two-dose vaccine with an interval of around 21 to 28 days in between. It is not yet approved in India.

So which vaccine is available in your area? The vaccine in your area most likely to be safe for you as it is been approved by your country. Mention in the comment section how you feel after taking a vaccine dose.

Don’t forget that exercise is a good way to increase the efficacy of the vaccine. A few days after taking the vaccine dose you can start off with light exercises and yoga which is shown to boost antibody development. You can buy a yoga mat for your daily exercises by clicking here.

All the information is sourced from reliable sources on the internet and is not the author’s personal views.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Covid-19 Vaccination Drive

Originated in Wuhan, China, in the year 2019, coronavirus Covid-19 caused havoc throughout the world, causing deaths to millions of people and severely damaging the lives of many. Covid-19 shows no signs of fading away from most countries in the world anytime soon. Thus the need of the hour is a vaccine that can protect us from this deadly disease. For the past one year, scientists in every country are trying their best to procure a vaccine to save people from dying.

The first ray of hope came in Russia, which invented a vaccine for coronavirus way back in August 2020. Named Sputnik V, it became the first and, to date, one of the best vaccines suitable for Covid-19 disease. Other countries have tried to produce vaccines, and now there are many vaccines in circulation across different countries. USA, UK, India have created their own indigenous vaccines that are quite as effective as Sputnik V.

In India, two vaccines are prescribed by the Government to be taken by all individuals in a phased manner. Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines in circulation among the public. Covaxin is recommended for those who have prior diseases or comorbidity, while Covishield is recommended for all others. Two doses of vaccination are required. Covaxin requires a gap of 4 weeks in between two doses. Covishield needs a greater interval of 6 to 8 weeks between the doses. Both the vaccines are working very well against Covid-19 strains present in India (except one ‘Bengal Variant’ maybe), with Covishield shown by many studies as having a slight edge over Covaxin. People getting vaccinated reported little or no side effects, the minor side effects being not more than slight fever or weakness. Thus, it is advised to all register and take the vaccine as soon as it is made available.

Now the most important question comes, when will I get the vaccine. If your age is above 45 years, then you are eligible to take the vaccine anytime. Register and wait for your slot. The date and venue (usually the nearest vaccination camp) of vaccination will be updated soon after you register. You may be asked to carry an identification card (Aadhar Card or something like that). Maintain social distancing, wear a mask, and wait for your turn. You may be required to spend a few minutes (usually half an hour) at the camp to see if the vaccine produced any weird side effects. Don’t worry; the vaccine is completely safe, and this is just for your safety only. Registration for the vaccine has begun for 18 to 45-year-old people, as of 28th April, and vaccination will start by 1st May. It is advised to register via registered accounts, Aarogya Setu app, or the Government vaccination drive website, https://www.cowin.gov.in/home, and be available at your vaccination drive camp on the vaccination day. We wish everyone to be safe and cooperative to win the hard-fought battle against the deadly virus.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Doctors: The Front Line Warriors

We all know, that why our government is forcing us to live in the home, this is due to pandemic COVID 19 which is been faced by the world and right now our doctors are working 24 hours as a front line warrior against coronavirus and helping our government and country to fight against this crisis. In return, many people are contributing their warm wishes and thanking the doctors through different gestures. A few times each month we all clap at the same time beat the utensils, or light a Diya outside our balcony a gesture that shows how grateful we are. These actions are counted under giving respect to the doctors of our country who in this situation stays away from their family and spends most of their time fighting for a corona patient. In our country doctors are treated as ‘devta’ or ‘messenger of God’ as they are considered the giver of life to the people. Right now there are around 12, 41,687 cases and it is a matter of honour that out of this 7, 84,460 people recovered and all this could happen because of the doctors and medical staff who are working hard to save everyone without discriminating between any gender or caste. They are doing their best to help patients recover as fast as possible. Still, there are some people who are acting rudely and behaving cruelly towards the doctors. According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), 75% doctor face violence once in his life and in ongoing COVID 19, these cases are increasing day by day. Even after so much of hard work, the doctors are still facing harassment. For instance, whenever the medical staff or doctors go to the house of the patients, people throw stones on them and treat them like a “street dog” due to which recently many doctors started striking as they all were facing humiliations and violence in their everyday life. Do you know what is the reason behind this? This is all happening because of a bunch of fake news we are sharing on social media regarding the doctors and regarding the religious discrimination which is being allegedly carried out by doctors. This, however, in reality, has not been proven till this day.

Every day we get to listen about cases of violence and for some time we feel bad for a doctor, but the next day again is a normal day. The maltreatment of doctors is partly our fault as we should also take care of a doctor who is far away from their family, who are not even getting proper sleep, they are taking care of our family members so that one day they may able to recover. Now its high time for us to protect the front line soldiers (doctors). We can help them by spreading the love towards them through social media, by informing people about the importance of doctors in today’s scenario, and also make people aware of the fact that if doctors will not be there then a country will be in trouble. Before attempting any untoward act, we should always think about their families because doctors are taking care of our family members.

                                               By- Anjali Sharma