COVID-19 vaccination: Tech titans in Bengaluru lead from the front

Prominent citizens coming forward to take a vaccine jab is likely to bolster confidence and reduce vaccine hesitancy among the general public in India.

March 01, 2021 / 09:44 PM IST
Vaccination drive is underway in India since January 16 (Image: Reuters)

Vaccination drive is underway in India since January 16 (Image: Reuters)

NR Narayana Murthy, Sudha Murty, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Kris Gopalakrishnan were among the prominent entrepreneurs and philanthropists in India's tech hub Bengaluru who received a COVID-19 vaccine on March 1, as India expanded its vaccination drive to cover senior citizens and those above 45 with comorbidities. ​Prominent citizens coming forward to take a vaccine jab is likely to bolster confidence and reduce vaccine hesitancy among the general public in India.

"Yes, Sudha and I took our vaccine for COVID-19 today at Narayana Hrudayalaya. Dr. Devi Shetty’s team was extremely kind, professional and helpful. We are very grateful to Devi and his team. We are feeling perfectly fine," Narayana Murthy told Moneycontrol.

While there was confusion over registration methods and technical glitches on the government's vaccine registration portal Co-WIN, Murthy, Kris and Kiran told Moneycontrol that the whole process was seamless and they didn't face any issue. They were administered the Serum Institute's Covishield at Narayana Hrudayalaya.

"I went to the hospital to register, it took me less than 5 minutes. I will be taking the second dose after 28 days. They did say there might a little pain and mild fever and advised us to take paracetamol. With the probability of mutations increasing, we have to take the vaccination. It is good for society and will help prevent the spread," Infosys co-founder and prominent startup investor Kris Gopalakrishnan said.

At the same time, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who recovered from COVID a few months ago said the vaccine was more of a booster shot for her. "I am feeling fine, the vaccine is a booster shot for me. I was asked to give my Aadhaar number to register, it look very little time, I also got my vaccination certificate. I have been advised to take Crocin every six hours for a day as there may be pain and fever." she said.


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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Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a picture of himself receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. "I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine," he tweeted.
Chandra R Srikanth is Editor- Tech, Startups, and New Economy
first published: Mar 1, 2021 09:44 pm

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