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Coronavirus | After Infosys & Wipro, Cognizant sets aside $10 million to fight COVID-19

Part of the fund will go into the World Health Organisation’s ‘COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’ and GlobalGiving’s ‘Coronavirus Relief Fund’

April 01, 2020 / 09:20 PM IST

Cognizant Philanthropies has made an initial commitment of $10 million to support communities impacted by novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.

Cognizant's US and India-based foundations will provide critical resources to strengthen public health systems, education and workforce institutions, and the economic outlook of communities worldwide, the company said in a statement.

Part of the fund will go into the World Health Organisation’s ‘COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’ and GlobalGiving’s ‘Coronavirus Relief Fund’.

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The fund will also be used for creating healthcare infrastructure, including resources for hospitals and frontline healthcare workers, and investments in equipment and diagnostic tools, it said. Apart from this, the fund will also support education, training, and reskilling programmes for vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19, the statement added.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Before Cognizant, Wipro and Azim Premji Foundation announced a contribution of Rs 1,125 crore to fight coronavirus. Of this, Rs 1,000 crore will come from the Azim Premji Foundation. Wipro’s commitment was Rs 100 crore.

Infosys foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of Infosys, has committed Rs 100 crore. The fund, a company statement said, will be utilised to expand hospital capacity, enable hospital stay for COVID-19 patients, with the focus on economically weaker sections.

Ventilators, testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks will be funded under this. It will also ensure that underprivileged has access to food and nutrition. Close to $50 crore will go PM-CARES fund.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 1, 2020 09:00 pm

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