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PMO confirms big reason,Why Coronavirus vaccine in India may not be delayed?

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ICMR and Department of Biotechnology have conducted two studies on Genome of SARSCoV-2 regarding the mutation of virus.

Coronavirus vaccines are under trial in India and other countries as well. However, some recent global studies regarding mutations in the virus have raised concerns over its impact on the effectiveness of vaccines. However, in a recent announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Centre said there is no major mutation in viral strain in India, implying that the vaccine development and its efficiency will not be impacted.

As per the statement, the country’s top clinical body- ICMR and Department of Biotechnology have conducted two studies on Genome of SARSCoV-2 regarding the mutation of virus.

“Two pan-India studies suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus,” PMO said. It is to note that when a virus replicates, there may be some changes in the new strains that have formed. This is known as mutation. Therefore, any vaccine developed for it will have to keep a tap on the possibility of mutation.

The statement came after a review meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi regarding the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine delivery, and its distribution and administration preparedness. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also made a statement regarding the same saying that there have not been any significant or drastic mutations in the Coronavirus strains in India so far. According to him, ICMR has been working on conducting a large-scale sequencing of strains that have been identified in India over the last few months. The council will be ready soon with detailed results on viral mutations. The Health Minister also emphasized that small changes will not be able to impact the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office also noted that three vaccines in India have reached the advanced stages of development. Out of these, two are already in the second phase of human clinical trials and the third one is in the third phase. Further, the PMO said that PM Modi has stressed that “every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails, syringes.”

Corona

Call for Covid-19 studies to focus on mucosal immunity

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Researchers have stressed that more Covid-19 studies should be devoted to how immunity to coronavirus emerges in the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.

Anyone who has undergone a nasal swab or saliva test for Covid-19 knows that the virus is most easily detected in the nose and mouth, the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reported.

Noting that the mucosal immune system is the immune system’s largest component, the researchers expressed concern that it hasn’t been a focus of much of the research on Covid-19 to date.

“We think it is a serious omission to ignore the mucosal immune response to SARS-CoV-2, given its initial sites of infection,” said study author Michael W Russell from the University at Buffalo in the US.

“Clearly the response of the systemic immunoglobulin G antibody (the most abundant circulating antibody) is important — we do not deny that — but on its own it is insufficient,” Russell added.

Russell noted that naturally, the initial focus of research on the disease was on cases of severe disease when the virus descends into the lower respiratory tract, especially the lungs, where the cellular immune responses exacerbate the inflammation rather than fight the infection.

But since the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, tonsils and adenoids are the initial point of infection for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the immune responses that are triggered there are of special interest.

“Given that many infected people remain asymptomatic, and that a large number of those who develop symptoms suffer only mild to moderate disease, this suggests that something, somewhere, does a fairly good job of controlling the virus,” said Russell.

“Could it be that this is due to early mucosal immune responses that succeed in containing and eliminating the infection before it becomes serious? We will not know unless these questions are addressed,” he asked.

The paper recommends that studies are needed to determine the nature of mucosal secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) antibody responses over the course of infection, including asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infection, and mild and moderate cases of Covid-19 disease.

In addition, the authors point out that the mucosal immune responses may vary depending on different age groups and populations.

 

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