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Blood banks in Maharashtra may run dry soon due to lockdown: Health Min Tope

Blood supply is required not just for coronavirus patients, but also for people suffering from other illnesses, he said during a Facebook live.

March 27, 2020 / 05:42 PM IST

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday urged the people to donate blood as the state's blood banks are likely to face an acute shortage of supply due to the ongoing lockdown.

Blood supply is required not just for coronavirus patients, but also for people suffering from other illnesses, he said during a Facebook live.

"The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) told me that we have blood stock that would just suffice for seven to eight days," Tope said.

"Blood is something that has no alternative. We can't do without it. Blood has a shelf life of 35 days," he said.

Therefore, police and the administration must ensure that blood donation camps are held, the minister said.

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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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"But they should also keep social distancing in mind," he said. PTI MR NP.
PTI
first published: Mar 27, 2020 05:35 pm

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