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India needs proper vaccine strategy, govt's 'disastrous policy' will ensure 3rd wave: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi also accused the prime minister of making “mother Ganga cry” after bodies of suspected coronavirus victims were found floating in the river.

May 15, 2021 / 06:56 PM IST
(Image: Shutterstock)

(Image: Shutterstock)


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called for a national vaccine strategy and claimed that the government’s “disastrous” inoculation policy will “ensure a devastating third wave” in the country.

He also accused the prime minister of making “mother Ganga cry” after bodies of suspected coronavirus victims were found floating in the river.

“The Government of India’s (GOI’s) disastrous vaccine strategy will ensure a devastating third wave. It can’t be repeated enough – India needs a proper vaccine strategy,” he said on Twitter.

Tagging media reports claiming that over 2,000 bodies have been found in 1140 km area along the Ganga, he alleged, “One who used to say ‘Ganga’ has called him has made Mother Ganga cry.”

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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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Gandhi and the Congress have been attacking the prime minister and his government over its vaccine strategy and handling of the pandemic.

In yet another tweet, Gandhi appealed to people to stay safe after cyclone Tauktae warning was issued by the government in many states. He also appealed to Congress workers to provide all assistance to those in need.

“May 15 Cyclone Alert has been issued in Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka. Cyclone Tauktae is already causing heavy rains in many areas.

“I appeal to Congress workers to provide all possible assistance to those in need. Please stay safe,” he said on Twitter.

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PTI
first published: May 15, 2021 06:56 pm

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