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India better prepared this year to beat COVID-19 compared to 2020: Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister also said that in 2021, the country is better prepared mentally and physically with more experience to beat the pandemic as compared to last year.

April 27, 2021 / 07:08 PM IST
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health. (File image)

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health. (File image)


India is better prepared mentally and physically this year with more experience to beat the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to 2020, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.


He made the remarks while inaugurating a series of blood donation camps at 13 locations in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh through a webinar in the presence of Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, a health ministry statement said.


Also Read: Uncertainty looms over vaccination of 18-45 age group; no clarity on pricing and existing supply

The camps are being organised by the Competent Foundation with the help of various associations, NGOs and blood banks in wake of fulfilling the blood requisition due to COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

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Addressing the webinar, Vardhan appreciated the efforts of the foundation to organise blood donation camps with more strength and expansion for fulfilling the blood requirement due to the pandemic.

Also Read: COVID-19: Here is a list of websites displaying availability of hospital beds

He exhorted people to at least donate blood once a year on their birthdays as it is a big help for humanity.

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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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He said that in his opinion, donating blood is even more pious than visiting revered holy places, the statement said.

Vardhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the largest vaccination drive in the world in January, which is now being accelerated further as the vaccination of young people is about to begin from May 1.

He also said that in 2021, the country is better prepared mentally and physically with more experience to beat the pandemic as compared to last year, the statement stated.

He appreciated the fact that this blood donation camp has been set up following all COVID protocols, guidelines and SOPs.

He said that the blood donation drive is being done before vaccination of youth which is commendable as after being vaccinated it is advisable to not donate blood for 2 months.

President of Competent Foundation Sanjay Tandon said this year the foundation decided to organise blood donation camps beyond Chandigarh tricity in 13 different locations across the region with more strength in the wake of fulfilling the blood requirement during the COVID pandemic, the statement stated.

He appealed that in the middle of coronavirus epidemic, blood donation has become more important because supply of blood has become extremely difficult.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Apr 27, 2021 06:56 pm

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