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Coronavirus Essential podcast | Domestic test kits, Gilead's successful drug trial offer new hope

Tune in to the Coronavirus Essential podcast, where host Shraddha Sharma gives you the top updates on the pandemic.

April 29, 2020 / 08:56 PM IST

The total number of cases in India has crossed 31,700 with Maharashtra and Gujarat being the worst-affected states.

Maharashtra’s health minister stated that the first experiment of plasma therapy was successful.

Domestic manufacturers of rapid antibody test kits have reportedly approached the Indian Council of Medical Research to provide help for quick validation of their pilot and manufactured batches.

Tune in to the Coronavirus Essential podcast, where host Shraddha Sharma gives you the top updates on the pandemic.

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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first published: Apr 29, 2020 07:28 pm