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Third wave of Covid-19 is unlikely to hit India;  No need for recall fire, says Aiims chief Dr Guleria

A third wave of Covid-19 of a magnitude comparable to the first two is unlikely to strike India, said AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, stressing the lack of an increase in cases for the moment. He suggested that vaccines always protect against the virus and that there is no need for a booster dose at this time. Speaking at the launch of a book “Going Viral: Making of Covaxin & The Inside Story” written by ICMR CEO Dr Balram Bhargava, Guleria said the way vaccines hold up in terms of prevention of severity and hospital admission, the chances of any huge wave with large entries decreases with each passing day.

“The third wave of COVID-19 of a magnitude comparable to the first and second is unlikely to strike India. Over time, the pandemic will take on endemic form. We will continue to have cases but the severity will be greatly reduced, “he said. Regarding the need for a booster dose, he said there was no increase in cases as such for the moment, which suggests that vaccines still protect against the coronavirus. “Therefore, there is no need for a booster dose or a third dose of vaccine at this time.”

NITI Aayog (Health) member Dr VK Paul said the decision for a third dose should be based on science. “There are studies being done on the boosters, we are going through data and research. It is a work in progress,” he said, highlighting the completion of the second dose for the Indian adult population and the administration of the first dose to those who had not taken it. is the government’s priority for now.

He also said the pandemic is not over and will not end in the future but could reach endemic form. If the virus chooses to change its characteristics and take on a different dimension, all of our preparations could be shaken, Paul said.

“But we are certainly in a much better prepared position now in terms of health infrastructure. But we cannot afford to let our guard down and must continue to follow the appropriate behavior of Covid,” he advised. Bhargava, who spoke at length about his book, published by Rupa, said there was so far no scientific evidence to support the need for a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking about India’s fight against COVID-19, he said there was clarity and sincerity in the work of scientists, government and the people over the past one and a half years. There have been lessons from the pandemic for the population and the government, including strengthening health facilities and developing a robust surveillance system, he added.

“We need to be vigilant and cautious of all viruses in the world in this fast moving world. The role of the media was crucial in ensuring that reporting on the virus and the vaccine was honest and diligent. This ensured that people had no hesitation towards the vaccine, “Bhargava said.” Going Viral “captures the first-hand experiences of scientists who worked around the clock to develop India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine in a record time of less than eight months.

In his book, Bhargava also highlighted some lesser-known facts behind the making of Covaxin, including innovative ways in which scientists navigated a strict national lockdown to conduct India’s first HIV prevalence survey. In another anecdote, the author highlighted the important role 20 monkeys played in ensuring that millions of Indians across the country have access to this life-saving vaccine. At the launch, Bhargava highlighted the immense strength of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Autonomous India) in tackling obstacles and standing up in the global public health community.

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, said India has come a very long way in the fight against COVID-19. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have been actively involved in COVID-19 RNA extraction, test kit development and vaccine development. Effective collaboration, strong leadership and effective teamwork made this possible, ”he said.

Vijay Raghavan, senior government science adviser, said ICMR’s partnership with Bharat Biotech was timely and effective. “Now we need to make sure everyone is vaccinated and enforce safety measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing.”

Dr Krishna Ella, President and CEO of Bharat Biotech, stressed the importance of public-private partnerships to make Covaxin a reality. “The development of Covaxin is a real achievement for public-private partnerships in India, which is based on mutual respect, trust and transparency,” he said.


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