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Network18 Sanjeevani launch | Exploring possibility of third dose but no official recommendation: Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawala

Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawala was speaking at the launch of the Network18 Sanjeevani – A Shot Of Life, a CSR initiative by Federal Bank.

April 07, 2021 / 01:56 PM IST
Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawala

Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawala

Adar Poonawala, CEO, Serum Institute of India on Wednesday said that the Serum Institute is exploring the possibility of a third dose/booster shot but no official recommendation on this regard has been received.

"Booster'' is something we can look at much later on. I know some vaccines may require a third dose. It's not found with our vaccine but it could be possible that in six months with more data coming about we can see that a third dose could perhaps enhance and further give you a long term protection which we are exploring as well but there's no official recommendation for that because that would have been proven in trials etc.," Poonawala said.

Poonawala was speaking at the launch of the Network18 Sanjeevani – A Shot Of Life, a CSR initiative by Federal Bank.

Several dignitaries who were in live attendance for the launch included - Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawala, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said that more people in the eligible categor must be encouraged to get vaccinated. There is still a large capacity available and people are still not coming.

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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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"Vaccination sites are still meeting only about 30 percent of their capacity," Guleria said.

He further added that people in the priority group should be vaccinated as early as possible so that the government could then move to the low age groups.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan lauded the government's nationwide vaccination efforts and said that so far over 8 crore vaccines have been administered among the three eligible groups.

"In fact yesterday itself forty three lakh were given in a single day," Union Health Minister added.

The minister further urged that all the people must follow Covid appropriate behaviour the lack of which is contributing to the second wave so that the chain of transmission of the mutant strain is broken.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant too urged the people to get vaccinated. He further said that very few countries are bale to provide the vaccines hence the people who have access to the vaccines must get the shot.

Speaking at the launch, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that Punjab has lagged behind in terms of the vaccines administered as people are reluctant.

He further urged the eligible people to get  vaccinated and insisted that they must follow Covid appropriate behaviour like wearing the mask, frequent sanitisation and maintain social distance even after getting vaccinated.
Shreeja Singh
first published: Apr 7, 2021 01:19 pm

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