The government feels that there is a laxity in individual behaviour and is worried about upcoming winter and festival seasons, says NITI Aayog Member VK Paul.
The government would be launching a massive behavioural change campaign in the next one week to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.
"We feel that there is a laxity in individual behaviour; we are worried about upcoming winter and festival seasons, so to work on the prevention side is even more important," said NITI Aayog Member VK Paul.
The campaign will be disseminating messages about using masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, use of Ayush products and protecting the elderly.
"These messages are well aware of, but these have to be taken to such a loud level that everybody would hear. We think there is a huge potential for change," Paul said.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
The easing of COVID-19 lockdowns has coincided with the rise in the number of cases and deaths. Close to one lakh people have died and 6.3 million people are infected with the disease so far.
COVID-19 is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Using face masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing has become imperative. But people are seen flouting these norms extensively.
Paul said there is still at least 3-4 months window before the launch of a vaccine, and until then prevention is the only effective option.Currently, the number of COVID-19 cases that require intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators are on the rise, resulting in a huge burden on health infrastructure.