Positive Paparazzi – News That Will Make Your Day!
By Praneet Singh Gill, Intern, GMC Patiala and Dikshit Chawla, MBBS 1st year, GMC Patiala
1. iNCOVACC: 1st Nasal COVID Vaccine
It’s been almost 3 years since COVID-19 came in our lives. While we certainly have learnt how to live with it by now, our fight against COVID-19 is still on. And introduction of Bharat Biotech’s iNCOVAC is no less than a breakthrough in our fight against COVID-19.
It is world’s first intranasal vaccine to get both primary series and heterologous booster approval. It is also India’s 1st Nasal vaccine for COVID-19. With its noninvasive approach, it sure does come as a relief for people who avoid getting vaccinated due to fear of needles.
• Type of vaccine: ChAd36-SARS-CoV-2-S COVID-19 virus(Recombinant Vaccine)
• Targeted age group:> 18 years
• Dose and Route:iNCOVACC® is administered through the nose, as a 2-dose series, 4 weeks apart. A total of 8 drops (0.5 mL per dose), 4 drops are administered into each nostril.
• Booster: Single booster dose to individuals aged 18 years and above, at ≥6 months after completion of primary schedule of Covishield or Covaxin®
2. CERVAVAC: India’s 1st Indigenously prepared HPV Vaccine
In what could be seen as another milestone in our fight against Cervical Cancer, SII have launched CERVAVAC, a cervical cancer vaccine on occasion of National Girl Child Day on 24 Jan, 2023.
Cervavac is India’s first indigenously prepared quadrivalent HPV (qHPV) vaccine that aims to ensure robust immunity (90% protection) to all against cervical cancer.
India accounts for about 1/5th of the world’s cervical cancer burden. Cervical cancer is almost always associated with Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a double-stranded DNA virus. The strains responsible for malignancy are 16, 18, 31 and 45 with 16 and 18 attributing to >70% of cases.
• Targeted strains: 6, 11, 16 and 18
• Type of vaccine: L1 VLP (L1 capsid Virus-like particles)
• Targeted group: 9-26 years of age, those >44 years of age can take the vaccine post their discussion with a clinician.
• Dose and route of administration: 0.5 ml, intramuscular
• Schedule: 2 doses at 0 and 6 months
3 doses (recommended for immunocompromised people)- at 0, 1-2 and 6 months
• Contraindications: Pregnancy, known allergic reactions to vaccine component
• Storage: 2-8 °C
3. Indian Scientist to Win Prestigious Bailey K Ashford Medal
Dr Subash Babu, a prominent Indian scientist and physician, was awarded the prestigious 2022 Bailey K Ashford Medal and 2022 Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FASTMH) Award for his exemplary research work and contributions to tropical medicine.
This award has reportedly never been given to an Indian scientist or institution in its 82-year history.
According to an official statement from ASTMH, Dr Subash Babu is the first Indian to receive both the Bailey K Ashford medal and the FASTMH award.
Dr Babu is the scientific director of the ICER (International Centre for Excellence in Research)-India programme. He is a pioneer in research on helminth infections and tuberculosis. He received the FASTMH award for his dedicated work to tropical medicine, which he began in 1995
4. Mr. Beast, a YouTuber known for his extravagant gifts and philanthropic stunts, paid for 1,000 surgeries to treat “curable blindness” in his most recent video. Though many viewers praised him, the stunt drew mixed reactions on social media.
In his video posted Sunday, Mr. Beast said that many people who have cataracts could be “cured” with a 10-minute surgery. Cataracts, which can obscure vision by clouding the lens of a person’s eye, are one of the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness, according to the World Health Organization.
“We have all the technology to fix it. But unfortunately, nearly half the population with curable blindness doesn’t have access to this surgery,” he said. So I wanted to provide this to as many people as possible.”
5. Coughing Into Your Phone to check lungs health status!
As crazy as it seems, this has been actually possible thanks to a Hyderabad Startup.
Something straight out of fiction movies right!
With the intention to improve TB detection in rural areas, Hyderabad-based startup Salcit Technologies has launched Swaasa, an AI software that analyses human cough to help detect lung diseases.
Claiming an accuracy of 90 per cent, Swaasa is an AI-based software that analyses human coughs to identify any kind of abnormality in the lungs. Provided additional data such as the patients’ medical history, temperature and vitals is available, the software helps in the early detection of lung infections and diseases.
Launched in 2017 by a trio of techies — Venkat Yechuri, Narayana Rao Sripada and Manmohan Jain — Salcit Technologies realised the need for an AI-based sound analysis system that caters to lung health specifically.
With six clinical validations including from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Swaasa is now being used by PHCs in Visakhapatnam and aims to reach those in rural areas.