The new Omicron sub-lineage may not further increase transmissibility

Developments pertaining to the new variant Omicron (B.1.1.529) are happening thick and fast. Days after the WHO designated Omicron as a variant of concern, the variant has been split into two sub-lineages — BA.1, “for the original globally-distributed lineage”, and BA.2, “for the new outlier lineage”. The sub-lineages BA.1 and BA.2 are two divergent clusters … Continue reading The new Omicron sub-lineage may not further increase transmissibility

How the idea of vaccine protection changed in one year

As the virus evolved, our perception of protection conferred by vaccines changed dramatically. From the popular notions of herd immunity and vaccinating our way out of the pandemic, the discussion is now centred around booster doses and the eventuality of living with the virus. As the virus evolved, our perception of protection conferred by vaccines … Continue reading How the idea of vaccine protection changed in one year

Does the Omicron variant make a case for booster doses?

What is the major objective of a booster dose -- to protect from infection or protect from severe disease and death, who should get it first whenever it is approved, is there enough evidence recommending for their use, and should we give boosters when primary immunisation is not complete? Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, physician epidemiologist and … Continue reading Does the Omicron variant make a case for booster doses?

Groping in the dark on booster doses

Though over 1.26 billion doses have been administered as on December 4 with nearly 85% receiving one dose but only over 50% being fully vaccinated. Over 8% of health-care workers, 30% of those above 60 years and over 33% of people aged 45-59 years are yet to be fully vaccinated. And there is no scientific … Continue reading Groping in the dark on booster doses

Mechanism of blood clots after Oxford vaccine administration found

A study published has revealed for the first time the mechanism responsible for blood clot arising from thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following vaccination with AstraZeneca vaccine. A multi-institutional study published on December 1 in the journal Science Advances has revealed for the first time the mechanism responsible for blood clot arising from thrombosis with … Continue reading Mechanism of blood clots after Oxford vaccine administration found

Criticised if delayed in sharing data, punished for diligently posting data

China was severely criticised for the long delay in sharing information and posting the genome sequence data. But when South Africa and Botswana diligently posted the sequence data on the public database, they were penalised. What incentive will countries have in sharing data on a timely fashion. If China was severely criticised for keeping the … Continue reading Criticised if delayed in sharing data, punished for diligently posting data

Covaxin elicits immune memory to virus up to six months, study finds

The study conducted on 39 individuals who received two doses of Covaxin found that the vaccine induces memory T cells in about 85% of the subjects. The T cell responses are largely preserved against the variants, including the Delta variant. A small study conducted on 71 individuals who received two doses of Covaxin found that … Continue reading Covaxin elicits immune memory to virus up to six months, study finds

Virus rages in Europe as epicentre shifts

While most of the new daily cases reported are among the unvaccinated, breakthrough infections and hospitalisations are being reported in the fully vaccinated too. However, the deaths have predominantly been among the unvaccinated. With the staggering increase in the number of daily fresh coronavirus cases and deaths in many countries in Europe, the continent has … Continue reading Virus rages in Europe as epicentre shifts

Restrictive voluntary license of COVID-19 antivirals compromises access, says Leena Menghaney

On the face of it, the agreement signed between the Medicines Patent Pool and the two pharmaceutical companies Merck and Pfizer appear to be making it easy to access COVID-19 antiviral drugs molnupiravir and Paxlovid, respectively. Yet, the voluntary license restricts the countries and population that have easy access to the antivirals. It even restricts … Continue reading Restrictive voluntary license of COVID-19 antivirals compromises access, says Leena Menghaney

Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid is a major advancement potentially for all coronaviruses, says Gagandeep Kang

Gagandeep Kang Besides 89% efficacy in preventing death and hospitalisation in specific groups that have high risk of progressing to severe disease when treatment is initiated within five days of symptoms showing up, Pfizer's antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 virus has been found to limit damage to lung tissue in human cells and mouse models of SARS-CoV-2. … Continue reading Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid is a major advancement potentially for all coronaviruses, says Gagandeep Kang