Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announced on August 28 that all Members of Parliament will have to take COVID-19 tests 72 hours before the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins.
The Lok Sabha speaker has also made it mandatory for the staffers and family members of all MPs to get coronavirus tests done before Parliament is in session, reported News 18. Additionally, he will also commission random testing in Parliament.
Om Birla reviewed the preparations being made for the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, along with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Doctor Randeep Guleria, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Luv Agarwal, and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)'s Doctor Balram Bhargava. Delhi government representatives and officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were also present at the review meeting.
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.