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Immediate need to rally democracies together against COVID-19: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Stating that achieving global herd immunity is the right thing to do out of compassion and morality, the Congressman asserted that he approaches questions of policy as an American and as an elected member of the Democratic Party.

May 31, 2021 / 07:53 AM IST

There is an immediate need to rally our democracies together against COVID-19 pandemic and for the United States to fulfil its promise of vaccine aid to India while further building on this support, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said on Sunday.

Stating that achieving global herd immunity is the right thing to do out of compassion and morality, the Congressman asserted that he approaches questions of policy as an American and as an elected member of the Democratic Party.

“I do not support, endorse, or affiliate myself with the views of any political party, individual, or group in India, such as the BJP, Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, the RSS or any other Indian organisation or individual, any more than I have any affiliation with the American Republican Party,” Krishnamoorthi said.

It is absolutely in the interests of all people to make sure everyone gets vaccinated across the United States, India, and the rest of the world, to bring this pandemic to an end, he said.

The Democratic lawmaker from Illinois also noted that External Minister S Jaishankar’s recent visit to the US served as “another reminder of the immediate need to rally our democracies together against the ongoing pandemic and for the United States to fulfil its promise of vaccine aid to India while further building on this support”.

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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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He said he has repeatedly urged the Biden administration to continue and expand its international vaccine distribution efforts in support of India and other nations facing the most serious outbreaks.

“It is also why I will soon be introducing the Nullifying Opportunities for Variants to Infect and Decimate (NOVID) Act which would bring global vaccination rates to more than 60 per cent through dramatically scaling up these international efforts with increased aid, expanded private sector production, and enhanced international cooperation.

“These efforts would help to save lives in the near term while also building the international foundation we need to truly end this pandemic,” the Congressman said.

He also stressed that achieving global herd immunity is the smartest thing to do in the current time.

“Achieving global herd immunity is not just the right thing to do out of compassion and morality, it is also the smartest thing to do because the only way to end this global pandemic is through a global approach that ends the outbreaks before they enable the mutations of the virus which could destroy all the progress we have made,” he said.

“The success of these efforts depends on international cooperation and the continued success of the US-India partnership in this endeavour, as with so many others, is paramount to the shared interests of our nations and humanity more broadly.

“Because of this, it must be beyond politics, and beyond any partisan or ideological affiliation,” Krishnamoorthi added.



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PTI
first published: May 31, 2021 07:54 am
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