HEAL Health, a healthcare service provider, organised the Vaccination E-Summit to raise awareness about the Covid-19 vaccines in association with ICCIDD and knowledge partner HEAL Foundation.
Keynote speaker, Professor G Padmanaban, Former Director, IISc, Senior Science Innovation Adviser, BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology, GoI said: “The RNA vaccine is superior to the DNA Vaccine because mRNA goes into the cell, and the cell translates it into proteins, which are the ones that the organism sees and induces the immune response.”
He added: “With a DNA vaccine, the virus’ genetic information is transmitted to another molecule that is called the messenger RNA (mRNA). There shouldn’t be any vaccination hesitancy. The bulk of the Indian population should go for vaccination. Vaccination is essential to fight the battle against coronavirus.”
Speaking during the first session of the e-Summit, Dr. Sanjay Rai, Professor, Department of Community Medicine, AIIMS, President, IPHA said: “No need to vaccinate the people who have documented Covid-19 infection because they have developed natural immunity.”
He added: “Use the vaccines judiciously as they are precious. It is scientifically proven that natural immunity supports. As per Sero Surveillance, 25 per cent population is infected, and in major metro cities like Delhi, 50 per cent are infected including 60 per cent of children. As per Indian data, we don’t believe that the second or the third wave of Covid strain will take place.”
According to Dr. (Prof) Amitav Banerjee, Professor & Head of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Pune, vaccines are strong artillery. Hence, it should be deployed strategically in the war against the pandemic.
He believes that vaccines should be used judiciously. “It is not required for everyone…We have a higher percentage of young population compared to western countries, which is much less susceptible to Covid-19. Given the present plummeting trends of Covid-19 cases in our country, we can afford to wait and watch rather than going for indiscriminate mass vaccination,” he added.
While Dr. Karthik Anantharaman, Cluster Head, South India, Roche Pharma spoke on the significance and the utility of vaccines. He said: “There is an analogy about Covid vaccines compared to the seat belt. The Covid vaccine is just like a seat belt we use while driving a car. A seat belt can’t resist the accident, but it can reduce the impact of the accident. Likewise, vaccines can’t resist the infection, but it can reduce its impact.”
He added: “This shows the similarity between the seat belt and the vaccine. So, after vaccination, it is not desirable to turn casual and don’t follow preventive measures. Even after vaccination, Sanitizing, Mask & Social Distancing (SMS) must be followed strictly.”