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US Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for COVID-19

"She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence," the Vice President's press secretary said.

April 26, 2022 / 10:33 PM IST
American Vice-President Kamala Harris (Image: AP)

American Vice-President Kamala Harris (Image: AP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for COVID-19, her press secretary Kirsten Allen said on April 26, adding that she is asymptomatic and will continue to discharge her official duties while remaining in isolation.

"Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests," the statement noted.

"She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence," Allen added.

The press secretary clarified that the vice president has not been in close contact with President Joe Biden or First Lady Jill Biden over the past few days.

"She has not been a close contact to the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules," Allen 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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Harris will follow the coronavirus infection-related guidelines issued in public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the advice of her physicians, the statement added, further noting that the Vice President will return to the White House only "when she tests negative".

Harris, 57, is double vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Moderna vaccine. She has also received two booster doses -- the first in October last year followed by the second on April 1.

The United States is the worst-hit country globally due to the pandemic, with more than 8.1 million coronavirus infections recorded till date, along with 991,572 deaths.

The virus transmission rate, after remaining low for the past few months, has alarmingly increased in the country's northeast. New York City is the most severely affected city in the region, with the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases coming in at 2,348 on April 18, higher as compared to 2,027 in the preceding week. Amidst the rise in cases, several universities in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia have reinforced the mask mandates.

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first published: Apr 26, 2022 10:06 pm