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India and US did more than any other country in fight against COVID-19, says top White House health official

Dr Ashish Jha, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said he had a lot of time in the last two and a half years thinking about and working on the pandemic.

August 16, 2022 / 02:26 PM IST
Representative image (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)

Representative image (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)

India and the US have done more than any other nation in the fight global against COVID-19, the White House's top health official has said, as he highlighted the massive efforts by the two countries to vaccinate their people along with supporting and donating to other nations to tackle the pandemic.

Dr Ashish Jha, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said he had a lot of time in the last two and a half years thinking about and working on the pandemic.

"I can't think of two nations that have done more to vaccinate and protect their own populations, and to donate and support and vaccinate and protect the world than India and the United States, Jha said in his remarks at a reception hosted by India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, at the India House to celebrate 75th anniversary of independence.

So it is in that light that I think we look at an evening like tonight, where Indians and Indian Americans and Americans come together to celebrate what I think is a monumental occasion, Jha said. He said it was "an incredible honor and pleasure" to celebrate 75 years of India's independence, democracy and the Indian-American friendship.

As a proud Indian-American, I am grateful for the words that our President Joe Biden used, who reminded us that the three or three and a half million of us who are Indian Americans, the vibrant Indian American community has made America more innovative, more inclusive, and a stronger nation, he said. Jha said India and the US are the world's two most consequential democracies.

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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 the shared values of promoting human dignity and human freedom, pluralism, belief and the rule of law, have brought the two nations together. "Those are values that people around the world yearn for. And when our two nations work to promote those values, we make the world a better place, Jha said.
PTI
first published: Aug 16, 2022 02:28 pm
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