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COVID-19 vaccination is already available to over 55 per cent of India’s adult population

COVID-19 vaccination is already available to over 55 per cent of India’s adult population

 

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the immunization push has reached another crucial milestone, with more than half of the country’s eligible adult population now completely vaccinated against COVID-19 and that it is critical to maintaining the momentum in the fight against the pandemic. Over half of India’s adult population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The total number of vaccination doses given out in the country has surpassed 127.61 crores.

Modi tweeted, tagging Mandaviya’s tweet on the milestone, “India’s immunization effort crosses another critical milestone. Important to preserve this momentum to boost the fight against COVID-19.”

“And sure, continue to follow all other COVID-19-related protocols, such as masking up and social distancing,” stated the prime minister.

According to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, over 55% of India’s adult population has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to officials from the Ministry of Health, 55.52 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, with 87 per cent receiving the first dose.

India has hit another milestone in its fight against Covid, according to Mandaviya, with over 55 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated. The nation’s united struggle against COVID-19 has been bolstered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign.

According to provisional reports, as of 7 a.m., India’s COVID-19 immunization coverage has surpassed 133.88 crores with the administration of 66,98,601 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours.

According to the ministry, this was accomplished through 1,40,27,706 sessions.

The health ministry claimed that the government is committed to expanding and speeding up vaccination coverage across the country.

“The vaccination drive has been accelerated by the availability of more vaccinations, advanced visibility of vaccine availability to States and UTs for better planning, and streamlining the vaccine supply chain,” it continued.

The Covishield vaccine, a variant of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India, was used to initiate the nationwide Covid vaccination on January 16. In June, the coverage began a new phase of universalization as the second wave of the Covid epidemic killed thousands of lives and stretched the country’s health system.

The immunization came when numerous nations, including India, were reporting cases of the Omicron strain, which was first discovered in South Africa.

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Is it possible that Covid vaccinations will only be partially effective against Omicron?

Although it’s uncertain whether Omicron causes more minor symptoms than other coronavirus strains, physicians still recommend that people get vaccinated. In the United Kingdom, the Omicron strain has been related to at least one death.

The novel coronavirus strain Omicron has quickly spread around the world. It’s been found in at least 57 nations across six continents.

Christian Drosten, the chief virologist at Berlin’s Charite hospital, is particularly concerned about Omicron’s rapid expansion. Every three to four days, the number of cases in South Africa and the United Kingdom doubles.

Another cause for concern is that Omicron can partially evade the protective effects of currently available vaccines. This means that even those vaccinated, even those who have gotten a booster dose, are susceptible to infection.

In several combinations of vaccination and spontaneous infection, recent investigations demonstrate a substantial, approximately 40-fold reduction in the neutralizing impact of antibodies. This means that neither naturally occurring nor vaccine-induced antibodies can bind to the virus and prevent it from entering the human cell. In other words, in some situations, Omicron can elude the body’s immune reaction.

However, the immune system’s biological components continue to provide protection. T-Cells, a key element of our defence against infection, appear to be good at identifying Omicron. Vaccines should, after that, maintain their efficacy and protect against serious diseases, especially if the immune system is pushed further by a booster shot.

 

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Increased inefficiency

According to Axel Sigal, a professor at South Africa’s Africa Health Research Institute, neutralization of the new coronavirus variety by BioNTech-active Pfizer’s ingredient, for example, is substantially lower than with an earlier coronavirus strain. According to him, the vaccine only provides partial protection against Omicron.

Stephane Bancel, the US vaccine maker Moderna CEO, feels the protective effect has decreased significantly. Because 32 of Omicron’s 50 mutations impact the spike protein, which the coronavirus utilizes to enter cells, this is the case.

Most first-generation covid-19 vaccinations target the spike protein, and the neutralizing antibodies elicited by covid-19 vaccines are less able to attach to it due to these changes.

This is likely to affect all currently available vaccines. Sandra Ciesek, a virologist, based in Frankfurt, confirmed this on Twitter. Based on the data available thus far, Cieslak, head of the Institute of Medical Virology at the University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, believes that developing an Omicron-specific vaccination makes logical.

 

Why is Omicron more contagious than the others?

Under extreme duress, researchers are presently examining the new viral type. Reference, a US-based firm, uncovered a gene sequence in Omicron that could make the altered virus more contagious. This is because this unique gene material is also found in viruses that cause common colds.

The sequence has previously only been known from the human coronavirus HCV 229E, which may infect humans and bats. According to Venky Soundararajan, a bioengineer and co-author of the study, the Omicron variety has thus adapted to the human host better.

According to the study, the mixing of genetic material from the two virus strains might have occurred within a human being. Both viruses could have infected cells in human lungs, allowing them to merge there.

 

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Is Omicron a less hazardous planet?

Dr Anthony Fauci, the coronavirus adviser to US Vice President Joe Biden, tentatively regarded the findings on Omicron thus far as somewhat positive in terms of the disease’s projected severity.

He believes that while the virus is more contagious, the disease it causes is less severe.

On the other hand, Fauci made it plain that this isn’t certain and cautioned against forming conclusions about whether Omicron is less harmful or causes less severe disease than delta.

On Monday, December 13, 2021, the United Kingdom reported that at least one person had died from the coronavirus variant Omicron.

According to early observations from specialists in South Africa, Omicron could cause milder forms of the condition.

However, there are no solid estimates of the severity of covid-19 disease following infection with the Omicron form. Only 42 cases have been thoroughly investigated in South Africa, for example. As a result, the study’s importance is quite limited. According to the report, in comparison to other versions, the age of people infected has decreased: more than 80% of those infected with the omicron form are under 50 years old.

Furthermore, afflicted people spend less time in the hospital: According to virologist Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council, hospital stays used to last an average of 8.5 days before Omicron, but now only last approximately 2.8 days. But, as Dr Abdullah points out, more research is desperately required.

All of this raises whether Omicron causes milder kinds of sickness in older infected people. According to virologist Drosten, the disease’s severity may worsen. He claims that the Omicron variety not only multiplies rapidly but also possesses the “stupidest combo” of properties: immune escape and fitness gain.

Drosten noted in his regular podcast with German public broadcaster NDR, “A lot of virus, a lot of sickness.”

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Is it a positive thing if Omicron succeeds in displacing the delta variant?

The rapid spread of Omicron could indicate that it is displacing the delta version, which had previously been dominant, implying that a highly contagious but likely harmless variety is displacing a highly infectious and harmful variant. This appears to be encouraging at first glance, but no one can say with certainty whether it will help to minimize the epidemic.

A new mutation doesn’t need to be more hazardous. When the initial varieties were discovered, experts stressed this. Viruses frequently lose their potency due to several modifications. They make so many copying errors during the reproduction process that they become ineffectual, as the delta variant in Japan recently demonstrated.

Nonetheless, according to Charite virologist Drosten, the Omicron variety will keep us in the grasp of the pandemic for months to come: “The delta virus is our problem until January; the Omicron virus is our problem till summer.”

Despite the Omicron variation, do immunizations and boosters still make sense?

Yes, absolutely! Because of the Omicron variation, existing vaccines are projected to lose even more effectiveness, and experts highlight that this does not imply that they have no effect. Even with Omicron, BioNTech claims that the third booster shot will lower the risk of hospitalization.

Experts believe vaccinations and boost with current immunizations protect against severe illness progression and death. And it is for this reason, individuals who have not yet been vaccinated must be safeguarded, and booster vaccination campaigns must be intensified.

 

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