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Covid Vaccines Can Be Tweaked For Protection Against New Variants: AIIMS Director

According to Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS Delhi, current vaccines are effective but with new variants, they will decrease on immunity, however vaccines can be tweaked

Covid Vaccines Can Be Tweaked For Protection Against New Variants: AIIMS Director
Every year, a new vaccine (for diseases in general) is created based on surveillance data provided by the WHO, therefore it is easier to tweak vaccines, Dr Guleria said
Highlights
  • It is important to remember that vaccines can be tweaked: Dr Guleria
  • Omicron was first reported in South Africa on November 24
  • India's first case of Omicron waas detected in Karnataka on December 2

Pune: The COVID-19 vaccines can be “tweaked” to provide protection against new variants of the virus, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said. His remarks have come in the wake of concerns over the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. “Although there is this new variant of COVID-19, the silver lining is that it does seem to be a milder disease and we should have protection as far as the vaccine is concerned. And I think it is important to remember that vaccines can be tweaked,” Dr Guleria said on Sunday.

Also Read: India’s Omicron Patient #2 – A Bengaluru Doctor Shares His Experience

We will have second generation vaccines. This is something which we need to keep in mind. The current vaccines are effective but with new variants, they will decrease on immunity, however vaccines can be tweaked, he added.

He was speaking at the Dr VS Prayag Memorial Oration 2021 organised in Pune by the Association of Physicians of India.

Every year, a new vaccine (for diseases in general) is created based on surveillance data provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), therefore it is easier to do it, Dr Guleria said.

While Omicron was first reported in South Africa on November 24, India’s first two cases of this heavily mutated version of the coronavirus were detected in Karnataka on December 2.

Till Sunday, 153 cases of Omicron were reported in India.

According to central and state officials, the Omicron cases have been detected in 11 states and Union Territories – Maharashtra (54), Delhi (22), Rajasthan (17) and Karnataka (14), Telangana (20), Gujarat (11), Kerala (11), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (1).

Earlier this year, the Delta variant of the coronavirus was primarily responsible for the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Also Read: Omicron Variant In India: How Can Airports Be Prevented From Becoming Covid Hotspots?

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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