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    PHARMACY OF THE WORLD WILL SAVE THE ENTIRE HUMANITY WITH COVID-19 VACCINE

    on
    January 12, 2021
    *“India used to import PPE kits, masks, ventilators and testing kits from outside but today our nation is self-reliant. Today, India is ready to save humanity with two ‘Made in India’ coronavirus vaccines,” Mr. Modi had told the Indian diaspora, inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas over video conference on January,8.
    1.THE TWO “MADE IN INDIA VACCINES”( four more are in the pipe line) READY FOR THE ONSLAUGHT ON THE WUHAN VIRUS
    1.1.On January 3, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday formally announced the final approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for emergency use.
    1.2.“Being the pharmacy of the world, India has supplied important medicines to all those in need in the world in the past and is also doing so now. The world is not only waiting for Indian vaccines but also watching how India runs the world biggest vaccination programme,” Mr. Modi had said, referring to India’s plans to roll out a vaccination programme by mid-January 2021.
    2.THREE REFRIGERATED TRUCKS OF VACCINE LEAVE PUNE’S SERUM INSTITUTE 4 DAYS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
    2.1.A decisive phase in India’s fight against coronavirus began in the wee hours on Tuesday as the first consignment of COVISHIELD vaccines left Serum Institute of India for Pune airport, four days ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive launch.
    2.2.Three trucks loaded with the first doses of the Covishield vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) left from the Serum Institute of India building on the outskirts of Pune to the airport, from where they would be sent to various locations across India.
    2.3.The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg.
    2.4.The trucks left the Serum Institute of India premises at Manjari and reached the airport, located 15 km from the facility.
    2.5.From the airport, the vaccines will be dispatched to 13 locations across the country by 10 am, the source said.
    2.6.The locations where these Covishield vaccines will be flown from Pune include Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Karnal, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guwahati, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar.
    2.7.The Centre will start vaccinating frontline workers against the coronavirus disease from January 16.
    2.8. Covishield has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune based company.
    2.9.Bharat BioTech Ltd. Has developed India’s own brand “COVAXIN”.
    3.AWESOME COLD STORAGE CHAIN IN PLACE FOR INITIAL PHASE
    3.1.The health ministry’s Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that,–
    3.1.1. 29000 cold chain points,
    3.1.2. 240 walk-in coolers,
    3.1.3.70 walk-in freezers,
    3.1.4. 45000 ice-lined refrigerators,
    3.1.5. 41000 deep freezers and
    3.1.6. 300 solar refrigerators will be used for the Covid-19 vaccine storage.
    4.SCIENTISTS HAVE DEVELOPED THE FASTEST VACCINE IN HISTORY
    4.1.In a remarkable achievement of medical science, we’ve gone from identifying a new pathogen — the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 — to discovering an immune response against it to developing and testing a safe and effective vaccine for it in less than 12 months.
    4.2.Previously, the fastest vaccine to go from development to deployment was the mumps vaccine in the 1960s, which took about four years.
    4.3.“This is shattering that record,” says Otto Yang, MD, an infectious disease specialist at UCLA Health. “This is really an amazing achievement.”
    5.A NEW PARADIGM & PLATFORM INVENTED—THERE IS NO CORONA VIRUS IN THE VACCINES
    5.1. Most familiar vaccines — against flu, measles or tetanus, for example — rely on inactivated viruses (flu and tetanus) or weakened virus strains (measles, mumps), says Dr. Yang.
    5.2.Some vaccines, such as the one for hepatitis B, employ artificial proteins created in a lab.
    5.3. Each of these strategies requires development specific to the exact virus or bacterium.
    5.4.But the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates use none of these traditional methods to deliver genetic information to cells. Instead, they’re based on what Dr. Yang describes as a “plug-and-play” approach.
    5.5.As soon as the novel coronavirus was identified and sequenced in China, its genetic information was plugged into existing vaccine platforms scientists were developing for other diseases.
    5.6.“The platforms were already there and all the conditions were set,” Dr. Yang says. “So it’s just a matter of taking the sequence you want to insert and inserting it.”
    6.Messenger RNA, viral vectors and spike protein
    6.1.The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on the messenger RNA, or mRNA, platform. Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó — now a senior executive with BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner on the COVID-19 vaccine — started developing mRNA therapies in 1990 while a professor at University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
    6.2.RNA is temporary genetic information that instructs a cell to make a protein, Dr. Yang says. “Normally, a cell uses its own RNA to make cell proteins for its own functions,” he says.
    6.3.“When a cell is infected by a virus, the virus will insert its genetic material, either RNA or DNA, and the cell becomes a virus factory because that genetic material is used to tell the cell to make viral proteins.”
    6.4.In the COVID-19 vaccines, the mRNA platform delivers genetic information that tells cells to make spike protein, named for the spikes on the surface of the coronavirus. Production of this protein stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies to combat coronavirus, just as it would in the case of actual infection.
    6.5.“All vaccines work by mimicking the infection and having the immune system do what it does naturally,” Dr. Yang says. “So if you get SARS-CoV-2, your immune system makes antibodies to fight the infection.
    6.6.What you’re doing with the vaccine is basically putting the immune system through its normal paces in terms of how it reacts — you’re giving the immune system a version of what it would encounter if you were infected but without the disease.”
    6.7.To protect against COVID-19, vaccine recipients are being given genetic information to make spike protein, which is enough to stimulate an immune response. There’s no coronavirus in the coronavirus vaccines.
    7. ASTRA ZENECA USES A DIFFERENT PLATFORM
    7.1.The AstraZeneca vaccine achieves the same aim using a different platform.
    7.2.Called a viral vector, it relies on a weakened adenovirus, a generally mild virus that causes the common cold to deliver genetic information to cells.
    7.3.The body sees the adenovirus and follows the inserted genetic instructions to produce spike protein, thus triggering an immune response.
    Ramdas Iyer
    12.01.2021
    Tuesday
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