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

SARS-CoV-2 virus less likely to develop resistance to molnupiravir: Gagandeep Kang

Preliminary data, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, shows molnupiravir can reduce risk of hospitalisation or death by 50% in non-hospitalised adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease. The trial included only those older than 60 years and have at least one comorbidity. On October 11, just 10 days after Merck announced via a press release … Continue reading SARS-CoV-2 virus less likely to develop resistance to molnupiravir: Gagandeep Kang

Two vaccine doses offer 77% protection against hospitalisation, CMC Vellore study finds

A study of health-care workers of CMC Vellore found that two doses of COVID-19 vaccine offer 65% protection against infection, 77% protection against hospitalisation, 92% protection against oxygen care, and 94% protection from ICU admission. Even a singe dose offered significant protection against infection and hospitalisation. Over 93% of individuals received Covishield. A study carried … Continue reading Two vaccine doses offer 77% protection against hospitalisation, CMC Vellore study finds

Will adenovirus antibodies reduce the efficacy of vector vaccines?

While it is unclear if pre-existing antibodies to adenovirus vector will affect vaccine efficacy, it is possible that repeated vaccination using adenovirus-based vaccine either as a booster or as annual vaccination, if the need arises, will result in reduced efficacy due to vector immunity.

I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang

Serum's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin are examples of atmanirbhar (self-reliance) but have an element of non-Indian science — and at least to me that is fine, says Dr. Gagandeep Kang. Though Covaxin uses inactivated virus, neutralising antibodies against the spike protein are critical for reinfection. So if Covaxin is based on an old viral … Continue reading I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang

It makes sense to bring people to the vaccine instead of taking COVID-19 vaccine to people in some settings: Gagandeep Kang

mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, such as the one developed by Moderna, requires ultralow temperature (-70-80 degree C) during storage. India never had this kind of storage requirement and building the infrastructure for ultracold storage requires considerable resources, as it needs not just the freezers, but also uninterrupted power supply, says Dr. Gagandeep Kang. The government … Continue reading It makes sense to bring people to the vaccine instead of taking COVID-19 vaccine to people in some settings: Gagandeep Kang

Litchi toxin kills over 100 children in Muzaffarpur

The death of over 100 children in about a month in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar due to low blood sugar level is caused by a toxin present in litchi fruit. When under-nourished children eat the fruit and go to bed on empty stomach, the blood glucose falls sharply causing severe brain malfunction (encephalopathy) and … Continue reading Litchi toxin kills over 100 children in Muzaffarpur

Tissue-matched, unrelated donor transplants to aid thalassemics

Till recently, transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells found in the bone marrow has been the only curative option for patients with thalassemia major (genetic inability to produce normal, adult haemoglobin leading to severe anaemia). Since only 30-35% of such patients have a suitable tissue-matched donor in the family, a majority of them rely on regular … Continue reading Tissue-matched, unrelated donor transplants to aid thalassemics

Don’t ignore the adults in deworming

A year after the Health Ministry started the massive public health exercise of using a single dose of Albendazole drug for deworming millions of children in 2015, the programme was tweaked. Since 2016, the deworming exercise is a biannual event; nearly 150 million children in the 1-19 years age group were given two doses of … Continue reading Don’t ignore the adults in deworming

Waking up to MCPG toxin’s role in causing litchi mystery disease

There is evidence that as late as March 2014, Delhi’s National Centre for Disease Control, India (NCDC) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta (CDC) researchers were in the dark about the possible role of methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG) toxin present in litchi in causing illness in children aged 15 years or younger in Muzaffarpur, Bihar … Continue reading Waking up to MCPG toxin’s role in causing litchi mystery disease