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Indian-origin billionaire businessman Vinod Khosla pledges $10 million for oxygen supply in India

Taking to Twitter, the 66-year-old venture capitalist said that there was a need to save lives as further delay may end up in more deaths.

May 03, 2021 / 09:29 AM IST
Oxygen cylinders (Representative image)

Oxygen cylinders (Representative image)

Indian-origin billionaire businessman Vinod Khosla has pledged USD 10 million for supplying medical oxygen to hospitals in India amidst an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Taking to Twitter, the 66-year-old venture capitalist said that there was a need to save lives as further delay may end up in more deaths.

"For @GiveIndia this isn''t enough. They''ve received requests for 20,000 oxygen concentrators, 15,000 cylinders, 500 ICU beds, 100 ventilators, 10,000-beds COVID centres with requests coming from non-profits & hospitals all across India every day. We need to do a lot more urgently,” Khosla said on Sunday.

This is in continuation with the Sun Microsystems co-founder’s efforts to fund hospitals for oxygen supplies.

"The Khosla Family is adding USD 10 million to @GiveIndia to its previous commitment as a match and hoping others will join in this urgent need," Khosla said.

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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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On Sunday, a record 3,689 daily COVID-19 fatalities pushed India’s death toll to 2,15,542, while the infection count reached 1,95,57,457 with 3,92,488 more people testing positive for the contagion, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The active cases have also crossed the 33-lakh mark, it said.
PTI
first published: May 3, 2021 09:29 am

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