India has approved Zydus Cadila’s First Covid-19 vaccine for children

  • Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D Covid-19 vaccine is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine against the coronavirus.
  • Indian drug regulator DCGI approved Zydus Cadila’s three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 years and above, bringing in the sixth vaccine authorized for use in the country.
  • India has now approved its first vaccine for children, a timely move amid warnings of an upcoming third wave in the country, which some experts have warned could be deadlier towards children. While the Union Health Ministry has refuted that the next wave of the pandemic would prove more serious to the ‘vulnerable and unvaccinated’ population comprising children, it has, at the same time, augmented pediatric services across the nation as a preventive measure.
  • The company said it plans to manufacture 100 million to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D annually and has started to stockpile the vaccine.
  • The generic drug maker, listed as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, applied for the authorization of ZyCoV-D on July 1, based on an efficacy rate of 66.6% in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers nationwide.
  • “Interim results from Phase-III Clinical Trials, in over 28,000 volunteers, showed primary efficacy of 66.6 per cent for symptomatic RT-PCR positive cases,” said a government release, adding that this has been the largest vaccine trial so far in India for COVID-19.
  • “This vaccine had already exhibited robust immunogenicity and tolerability and safety profile in the adaptive Phase I/II clinical trials carried out earlier. Both the Phase I/II and Phase III clinical trials have been monitored by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB),” it said.
  • ZyCoV-D is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine against the coronavirus. It uses a section of genetic material from the virus that gives instructions as either DNA or RNA to make the specific protein that the immune system recognizes and responds to.
  • Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, is the second home-grown shot to get emergency authorization in India after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
  • The drug maker said in July its COVID-19 vaccine was effective against the new coronavirus mutants, especially the Delta variant, and that the shot is administered using a needle-free applicator as opposed to traditional syringes.
  • Earlier today, the Indian drug regulator’s subject expert committee had recommended emergency use approval for the vaccine. The committee had added that Zydus needs to submit additional data for the 2-dose regimen of its vaccine.
  • Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V vaccines are being given to only those above 18 years and unlike ZyCoV-D, which is three-dose, these are administered in two doses.
  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has said that ZyCoV-D is the world’s first DNA-based vaccine against the coronavirus and when injected produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and elicits an immune response, which plays a vital role in protection from the disease as well as viral clearance.
  • The vaccine had already exhibited robust immunogenicity and tolerability and safety profile in the adaptive phase one and two clinical trials. Both Phase one/two and Phase three clinical trials have been monitored by an independent data safety monitoring board, it added.
  • The Union government is expecting Zydus Cadila’s needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D to be available from the first week of October in India. 

Mental Sickness

Covid-19 has shaken the entire world. Even though Major Pharma companies have developed vaccines intending to end the pandemic. we are still struggling to find an end to this pandemic. One of the issues that India faces is the delay in immunizing the population again Covid-19. The delay is partly due to overpopulation. And If the vaccines are not effective against the new variant, it needs to be redesigned to combat the new variant, prolonging the pandemic.

Due to covid, our country has to suffer Major economies struggle to cope with the health care burden as millions of infected people need hospitalization for several days, depending on the severity of the disease.

No one knows when lockdown will be enforced again to control the situation. Many are losing their families and not allowed to attend the final rites due to strict quarantine and lockdown measures. Along with these major problems This disease has seriously created mental health issues, and it may take years to recover from such mental health conditions. Governments have to set up a separate budget to manage increasing mental health issues. The freedom to move around has now been crippled by Covid-19, and most people in lockdown are confined in a small space, limiting them to have face-to-face interactions with their dear ones and friends. It has affected people from all walks of life and has led to mental health issues. It is hard to find a common solution to all as mental health issues differ from person to person. Students are the worst affected community as Many schools and colleges have resorted to online teaching, which isn’t as good as a regular session. 

The digital screen has now become our portal to communicate with the outside world. Many children have lost their parents in this second wave in India and have become orphans since then. There were several appeals to the Government of India requesting to support the children who have lost their parents/guardians/adopted parents. In such a drastic situation people are feeling alone. The best thing to overcome negative thoughts is by performing regular meditation and yoga, listen to music, news, recall sweet memories, watch favorite movies, plays, and read books. Only by overcoming our negative thoughts we can overcome mental sickeness.

India – today

The world has taken a huge toll on the pandemic. COVID19 has left the nations crippling, whether it be their health infrastructure, economic sectors, or manpower. The global lockdown imposed has irrefutably slowed the spread of the disease but had a humongous cost paid by the common people. The health infrastructure has been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of victims and at the same time, the global economy has shown an unprecedented plunge. Developing nations are on the frontline of facing the wrath of the pandemic. Already lass with feeble health infrastructure, slow growth of the GDP, and a colossal amount of informal sector workers, India is one of them. All of its sectors have been devastatingly hit by the pandemic except for the medical industry (in terms of capital gains). At the beginning of the year IMF already projected a truncated growth for India and now due to the lockdown imposed the situation seems to worsen than being reported. A report published by the  National Restaurant Association of India’s (NRAI) Food Services in 2019, hospitality was one of the most promising sectors but still, in a recent press release, they called the recent crisis as  “a battle to retain our mere existence.” Restaurants are already a high-risk business because the landlords demand a fixed rent which along with manpower consumes 40-45% of the restaurant’s revenue. Another problem is due to the foodservice aggregators since they charge as high as 20-30% of the commission and thus can be termed as digital landlords. Foodservice aggregators pose a threat not only to the restaurant owners but also to the delivery boys. Already they were crushed down by the targets provided by the companies and now in such volatile situations, they are doing a hard time to make ends meet. Already many restaurants are shut down because of their inability to pay rent and their workers due to the loss of confidence of customers. People are more skeptical than ever of the hygiene standards practiced by the shop. Moreover now restaurants have to focus more on the implementation of hygiene and physical distancing protocols and rebuilding confidence at the same time. Practicing social distancing in coffee shops, restaurants is implausible because going out to such places is itself a social exercise. To enjoy solitude, one would go to the most crowded coffee shop because humans are social animals, we enjoy the company of people. The night life, pubs and bars have also being affected indiscriminately, the restaurants have been provided with a slight relaxation by opening up but the pubs still don’t have the permission to operate thus heavily impacting the industry. 2 months of permanent lockdown and intermittent lockdowns have hugely impacted the day time industries but the night time is still at its lowest, they are unable to operate even after 4 months into the pandemic. The construction structure was also one of the most promising sectors employing 49.5million people and this figure is the one which is registered (formal workers). Most of the job data is missing because of the informal workers so whatever figures you can see here, the real data is much higher and thus plight also is unseen and much devastating. As seen in the lockdown how these lifelines of the cities were left on their own. Due to the lockdown, most of the migrant workers returned home while walking on a path of thorns (literally) and they would like to stay at their homes rather than coming back to the cities  The real estate sector has also taken a great hit, already the sector was facing a crisis due to project delays, regulatory changes, and low sales in the last few years. And now due to the ongoing pandemic, most companies and organizations have proceeded to implement policies of zero contact meetings and no visitors which poses a great threat to the sector as no one wants to invest in an unsurveyed area. Many of the jobs are already lost and it is being predicted that the situation is going to worsen. People now believe that in tough times, home is a place where the safest environment is available Due to the unavailability of labor, the costs of building homes are going to shoot up, bringing more uncertainty with it. The manufacturing sector also saw a staggering loss, already the automobile sector was facing tremendous losses and now with the lockdown imposed the manufacturing units had to shut down. Some units that opened up after unlock, had to cut down their workforce to make their ends meet. Many of the employees have been credited with truncated salaries or no salaries at all for the months of lockdown. Many in the sector have been pressurized to ask for unpaid leaves and forced termination.We are living in a world of uncertainties more than ever, the volatile situation needs to be handled carefully and innovatively. Innovative measures, lessons from other countries who have revitalized their economy, ethics are required along with huge investments to get back on track if not grow. Doing all this with fingers crossed is the best we can do post-pandemic.

Image by rawpixel.com

Is it too late to recognize our true heroes?

While the entire nation is under the dark cloud of the coronavirus pandemic; hotels, restaurants, travel, malls, theaters, movie shootings, and even religious places are closed; healthcare professionals at all levels have been working tirelessly and worked with a redoubled commitment to stem the spread of the virus. Leaving family and loved ones behind, for the fear of infecting them, the brave warriors are waging a tiresome war. Health workers are leaving no stones unturned in leading the battle against an invisible enemy, despite difficulties, their commitment towards humanity never wavers.

Everyone during the pandemic is hailing doctors and other health care workers as heroes, people are clapping in their balconies, the air force did a petal shower to thank the HCWs but why it took a pandemic for us to realize that Doctors and not the movie stars or cricketers or any other group we hail as heroes are our true heroes. This pandemic is the time when every other religious place is it of any religion is shut down and the only one to save us from a deadly virus if we get infected are the doctors. We are waiting anxiously for a vaccine and are putting our hopes in the scientists to find one. All our hopes are now on doctors and scientists so that we can get out of this pandemic hearty and healthy.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

India’s total healthcare spending (out-of-pocket and public), at 3.6% of GDP, as per OECD, which by the way is way less than many other developing countries and we spend even less amount on research and development. The total per capita government spending on healthcare has nearly doubled from ₹1,008 per person in the 2015 financial year to ₹1,944 in the financial year 2020 but is still low. The Covid-19 pandemic crisis is a reminder of the importance of investing in the healthcare sector in any country. It really is time that we start sorting out our priorities and more than that we as individuals need to recognize our true heroes. But all this rant is worthless because today we as a nation as taking pride in saying that doctors and health care workers are our true heroes and I am sure as hell that as soon as this pandemic is over the routine misbehavior with the doctors, calling them out for earning good, blame-game will start again as usual and our heroes would again be actors making senseless movies and cricketers winning matches.