Efficacy of vaccines same: AIIMS chief
AFP file Photo

New Delhi

Data available till now clearly shows efficacy of all vaccines — whether Covaxin, Covishield or Sputnik V — are more or less equivalent, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said amid rumours about differentiated abilities of Covid-19 vaccines available in India in terms of production of antibodies or higher seropositivity rate.

“We should not hence say take this vaccine or that vaccine, whichever vaccine is available in your area, please go ahead and get yourself vaccinated so that you and your family are safe,” Guleria said addressing various doubts of people about Covid-19 vaccines.

Responding to commonly raised question about enough antibodies after getting vaccinated, Guleria said it is important to understand we should not judge the efficacy of vaccines only by the amount of antibodies getting generated.

The AIIMS director said vaccines give many types of protection such as through antibodies, cell-mediated immunity and memory cells (which generate more antibodies when we get infected).

Moreover, Guleria said, the efficacy results which have come so far are based on trial studies, where the study design of each trial is somewhat different.

NITI Aayog Member (Hea­lth) VK Paul said some peo­ple seem to be thinking of ge­t­ting an antibody test done post vaccination but that is not required for the simple fact antibodies alone do not indicate the immunity of a person. “This is so because of T-cells or memory cells; these undergo certain changes when we receive the vaccine, they become stronger and gain resistance power. And T-Cells are not detected by antibody tests as these are found in bone marrow.”

Free vax, foodgrains to cost exchequer Rs1.45 lakh crore

New Delhi: The govern­ment will spend up to Rs1.45 lakh crore additional money to provide free vaccines and foodgrains to people devastated by the second wave, sources said on Tuesday.

PM Modi’s announcement of providing free inoculation to all adults will entail total spending of anywhere between Rs45 and Rs50,000 crore. This is higher than Rs35,000 crore the govern­ment had budgeted.

Extending 5kg of wheat or rice and 1kg of pulses a month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries till November will cost betw­een Rs1.1 and Rs1.3 lakh cro­re. Taken together, the addi­t­i­onal spending could be up to `1.45 lakh crore, the sources said.

Covid cases below 1 lakh

New Delhi: After over two months, the Covid infections in India were below 1 lakh as the health ministry reported 86,498 cases in 24 hours on Tuesday while the daily deaths were down to 2,123 at 8am.

Tamil Nadu for the first time overtook Maharashtra with 351 daily deaths in 24 hours as against 340 fatalities each in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Delhi recorded 36 deaths. Tamil Nadu recorded the highest 19,448 cases in 24 hours, Karnataka saw 11,958 cases, Maharashtra 10,219, Kerala 9,313 and Delhi 231.

Total infections in India are 23.99 crore as against 27.34 crore recovering with a recovery rate of 94.29%, the death toll is 3,51,309 (1.21%). —Our Bureau

Opposition barbs

Headlines Vs deadlines

A day after PM Modi announced free vaccines for all above 18, Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh alleged the only concern of the govern­m­ent is for headlines and not dead­lines. Addressing a virtual press conference in Delhi on Tuesday, Ramesh said: “The govt is only concerned about the headline and not the deadline. To complete vaccination by Dec, 80 lakh vacci­nations per day is required but the question is from where the vaccines will come to do that.”

Propaganda tool?

Priyanka Gandhi slammed the Centre for allegedly not main­taining transparency on Covid-related data, and asked why the govt used it as a "propaganda tool" rather than for stopping the virus spread. She put out a video attacking the Centre over the data related to Covid. She asked it why there is such a massive deficit bet­ween official death data of Covid and unofficial data gathered from crematoriums, graveyards and other sources. Why has the govt used data primarily as a “propa­ganda tool” rather than using it to stop the spread of virus.

Revised guidelines

E-vouchers to help inoculation of poor, says Centre

New Delhi: Use of non-trans­fer­a­ble electronic vouchers appro­v­ed by the RBI will be encouraged to enable people to financially support Covid-19 inoculation of economically weaker sections at private centres, according to the revised guidelines issued by the Centre on Tuesday.

While the Co-WIN platform provides every citizen the facility of conveniently pre-booking vaccination appointments, all government and private vaccination centers will also provide onsite registration facility, available both for individuals as well as groups of individuals, for which detailed procedure is to be finalised and published by states/UTs, the 'Revised Guidelines for implementation of National COVID Vaccination Program' stated.

As per the guidelines which will come into effect from June 21, vaccine doses provided free of cost by the Centre will be allocated to states/UTs based on criteria such as population, dis­e­ase burden and progress of vac­cination. "Wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation nega­ti­vely," the revised guidelines said.

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