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Pictorial book for kids offers key info on COVID-19

The book is published by HarperCollins India in partnership with Nosy Crow and is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Assamese and Nepali.
May 30, 2020 / 04:55 PM IST
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A pictorial book seeks to answer key questions related to coronavirus to help five to nine year olds understand this unprecedented time in which a hidden virus has compelled them to stay at home - away from school, friends and the outdoors.

"Coronavirus: A Book for Children" is written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts and has illustrations by Axel Scheffler.

The book is published by HarperCollins India in partnership with Nosy Crow and is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Assamese and Nepali.

"There's a new word you might have heard. You might hear people talking about it or you might hear it on the news. This word is the reason that you're not going to school. It is the reason you can't go outside very often or visit your friends. It might be the reason why the grown-up or grown-ups who look after you are at home. The word is coronavirus," the book begins.

According to Tina Narang, publisher (children's) at HarperCollins India, this is an "extremely relevant picture book" which will "help children understand this truly unique time in which a hidden virus has compelled them to stay at home - away from school, friends and the outdoors".

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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The book, which also has an expert's input - Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, attempts to answer questions like what is coronavirus, how one catches it, is there a cure and what is going to happen next.

It says this is a strange time for everybody, and it's happening all over the world.

"But if we are all careful and we all stay at home, we are doing what we can to stop the coronavirus spreading. And that gives the scientists and doctors time to work out how to cure the illness and maybe stop people getting it altogether by using medicines and vaccines," the authors say.

"One day, quite soon, though nobody knows exactly when, you'll be able to visit people you love who don't live with you, play with your friends, go to school again and do lots of other things that you enjoy but that you can't do now," the book says.

It ends on a positive note saying "one day, this strange time will be over".

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: May 30, 2020 04:55 pm

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