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India supports call for detailed studies on origins of coronavirus

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) came out with a report on the origins of the virus but it had failed to meet the expectations of the US and several other leading countries.

May 28, 2021 / 12:40 PM IST
The two-dose Sputnik V had received the Indian drug regulator's permission for restricted emergency use with certain conditions on April 12. Representative Image

The two-dose Sputnik V had received the Indian drug regulator's permission for restricted emergency use with certain conditions on April 12. Representative Image

India on Friday supported the renewed global call for a comprehensive study by the WHO into the origins of coronavirus, days after US President Joe Biden asked American intelligence agencies to "redouble" their efforts in investigating the emergence of the pandemic amid growing controversy about origins of the virus from a laboratory in China.

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) came out with a report on the origins of the virus but it had failed to meet the expectations of the US and several other leading countries.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all.

"The WHO convened global study on the origin of COVID-19 is an important first step. It stressed the need for next phase studies as also for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions," he said.

Bagchi was responding to media queries on the issue.

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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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"The follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all," he said.

President Biden had on Wednesday ordered the US intelligence agencies to "redouble" their efforts in investigating the emergence of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and report back to him in 90 days.

COVID-19 was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.



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PTI
first published: May 28, 2021 12:40 pm
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