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Rajnath Singh takes stock of armed forces' preparedness in dealing with COVID-19

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Indian Air Force's Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane were present at the meeting, they said.

April 30, 2020 / 10:30 PM IST

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the top military brass of the country on Thursday to take stock of the overall preparedness of the armed forces in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Indian Air Force's Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane were present at the meeting, they said.

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Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief G Satheesh Reddy and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence were also present at the meeting, the officials noted.

The defence minister is learnt to have enquired the top military brass about their preparedness to deal with the pandemic and measures taken to protect the armed forces personnel against the respiratory disease.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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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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PTI
first published: Apr 30, 2020 10:25 pm

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