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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Covid Vaccine - India leads the way - and TN administers the drive so well


Under National Urban Health Mission scheme, Greater Chennai Corporation is running 138 Urban Primary Health Centres.  The Chennai Municipal Corporation (formerly known as the Corporation of Madras), is the civic body that governs the city of Chennai. Inaugurated on 29 September 1688, under a Royal Charter issued by King James II on 30 December 1687 as the Corporation of Madras, it is the oldest municipal body of the Commonwealth of Nations outside Great Britain.

On the busy Besant Road, nearer Vivekananda House bus terminus, there are a host of Govt facilities, that of Metrowater & Sewerage and Corporation office that houses facility for Aadhar and the like and here runs a Medical centre of the Corporation too.  Have you ever visited one such centre and before that what is your perception – are you one among those who would say – in general, such Govt places would not be tidy ?  

Coronavirus cases rise unabated across the globe with 116,659,203 infected by the deadly contagion. While 92,272,972 have recovered, 2,591,291 have died so far. The US remains the worst-hit country with 29,593,161, followed by India, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom. However, if you are to view the statistics differently by the total number of active cases, US tops the charts, followed by France, UK, Brazil and Belgium.  With a daily increase of 18,327 in total cases, India’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 11,192,088. Death toll has reached 157,693, with 109 fatalities in a day.   The country continues to be second-most-affected globally, and ranks 13th among worst-hit nations by active cases. Maharashtra, the most affected state overall, has reported 9,000 new cases. The state has added nearly 80,000 cases in the past 10 days. The five most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (2,198,399), Kerala (1,072,437), Karnataka (953,813), Andhra Pradesh (890,441), and Tamil Nadu (853,992).

Vaccines for Corona virus Covid 19 has come as a great relief for the humanity.  However, the World appears to be grappling by non-availability and improper distribution and lot of politics behind .. .. and fortunately, none of these in India as the Govt has ensured that vaccine is available to most of its citizen nearer their places, free of cost !  .. what an effort. Appreciate the Central Govt, Our Prime Minister, State Govt, Health Ministry, Department, Health workers and more.



Canada on Friday authorized a fourth Covid-19 vaccine, adding Johnson & Johnson's candidate to is approved list alongside AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots. It is the first single-dose Covid-19 vaccine to be authorized in the country, and has been cleared for use by people over 18 years of age, said Health Canada.  Like many countries, Canada does not have domestic production and has struggled with an immediate shortage of vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is what’s called a viral vector vaccine. To create this vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson team took a harmless adenovirus – the viral vector – and replaced a small piece of its genetic instructions with coronavirus genes for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden announced that Merck & Co. will help make Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine -- a collaboration between rivals as the immunization race narrows and governments race to ramp up supply before dangerous new variants of the virus further erupt. 

Four top Republicans Senator on Friday urged US President Joe Biden not to accept a proposal by India and South Africa to the World Trade Organisation to waive anti-Covid vaccine patents to boost its supply. "India, South Africa and other countries are presenting a proposal at the World Trade Organisation to waive all intellectual property rights for any innovation related to COVID-19," the group of four Republican Senators wrote in a letter to Biden.  "The proponents of this scheme argue that if we just destroy the intellectual property developed by American companies, we will suddenly have more manufacturers producing COVID-19 vaccines," they said.

Europe could be on the brink of a roaring twenties-style summer to remember, with budget airline flights packed and beachside bars brim-full of happy tourists. Or, it faces another gloomy holiday season of travel restrictions, quarantine rules and a locked-down leisure industry. In a few weeks from now we will know which it is to be - but the policy decisions which will shape the outcome are already being taken. One big question is whether EU member states will be content to leave decision-making to the European Commission in Brussels - which has bungled the vaccine-buying programme - or simply take matters into their own hands. Greece, for example, has already struck a deal to welcome tourists from Israel if they have a vaccine passport. And Cyprus has said it will welcome British tourists from 1 May, as long as they have had two doses of any vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The EU has struggled to distribute Covid-19 shots across the 27-member region and is lagging other advanced economies in the number of inoculations per citizen. There are complaints that regulators are too slow to approve vaccines, there has been manufacturing and delivery issues and national red tape, hindering the process. But new questions were raised on Thursday when Italy became the first EU country to use the bloc’s new regulations that allow exports to be stopped if needs be. The move stopped around 250,000 doses of the vaccine from its Anagni, Italy, plant being shipped to Australia.

India has gone miles ahead in handling Covid vaccines. India began its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ to supply Covid vaccine to different nations almost a one-and-a-half-month ago.   India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ drive is reaping diplomatic benefits for the country with the 79-member African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) group and the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) praising India at the WTO for facilitating vaccine supplies to those in need. These countries also suggested that other vaccine-producing countries should also follow suit.

The COVID vaccine was launched on 16th January, 2021. The first group of beneficiaries in India were  healthcare and frontline workers. The second group is persons  over 60 years of age as of January 1st, 2022 and persons between 45 and 59 years with comorbid conditions.  ]

At the Health Centre, run by Chennai Corporation in Besant Road – Covid vaccine is being administered.  The premises is clean and Health workers are doing the work with enthusiasm and efficiency.  Those coming are checked for their blood-pressure, medical details are enquired into and with Aadhar and another proof of residence – one could have Covid vaccine in few minutes.

On 4.3.2021, I had the Covid vaccine [Covishield] and on Friday, 5.3.2021 my wife had the vaccine. My parents [Father 84 & Mother 79] have also got the vaccine at another place.   Many of my friends of the locality and SYMA office bearers too have been inoculated.  In all it took less than half-an-hour for completion of verification formalities and a 2 sec painless jab.  After the administration of vaccine, recipients need to remain in the premises for 30 minutes for observation and then can leave for their homes to have their normal daily routine.

Good job by the Govt, Corporation and special thanks to Mrs Sulakshana, Medical Officer & Mrs Shyamala, Urban Health of 116 Ward and the other Health Workers. Urge the Triplicane residents to utilize this facility and have covid inoculation done immediately.  It is for our own safety and there need not any apprehensions on this.   Even after the vaccine, continue to follow social distancing, sanitizing and wearing masks.

With thanks – S. Sampathkumar






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