vaccine side effects

The Covid-19 Vaccines are released, but not without side effects.

With the vaccine being distributed in India frontline health workers, over 2 lakh people have been inoculated till day 3. Though a vaccine for Covid-19 means good news, there have already been multiple reports of people experiencing side effects.

According to the Health Ministry, there have been 580 cases with side effects reported on 16th and 17th January, with seven hospitalized and two pronounced dead. The government said that, for the 52-year-old ward boy, who died in UP after receiving the vaccine, the death is not linked to the vaccination as he died due to cardiopulmonary disease as revealed by the post – mortem. The government plans to do a post – mortem in the second case of the 43-year-old man from Karnataka to determine the reason for his death.

On Day 1 of the vaccination, 52 cases of AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunisation) were reported from Delhi, but only one was severe. On Day 1, Maharashtra reported 14 cases of side effects, as reported by Mint. Due to technical glitches in the Covin App, the vaccination drive had been put on hold in the state. However, the drive is expected to begin again on 19th January after resolving all the glitches.

Two vaccines are being released in India, Covishield and Covaxin. All three trials for Covishield have been completed as per protocol. However, Covaxin is still undergoing stage – III trials, making critics and experts skeptical about the vaccination’s side effects and efficacy. People receiving Covaxin also have to sign a consent form for “clinical trial mode,” implying that the trials are not yet over and the beneficiaries are a part of the clinical trial. The document also says that the beneficiaries will be compensated in case of adverse effects from the vaccine.

Along with India, many other parts of the world have fallen prey to side effects from the vaccine. In Israel, 13 people suffered mild facial paralysis after receiving the vaccine, while in Norway, 29 people have died after being inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine. The Norwegian Medicines Agency said that all the people who died were senior citizens suffering from “serious basic disorders” while others suffered other adverse reactions like nausea and vomiting. Norwegian officials have said that the vaccine trials may be too risky for the elderly and terminally ill patients.

As there have been side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines, it is too early to comment if these vaccines are fruitful in the long run and to determine the actual efficacy of these vaccines. We will have to wait and see if these vaccines provide us with a solution from Covid-19 without causing much harm to its beneficiaries.

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The Vaccines may Work for the New Strain as well

Dr. K. Raghavan, the Principal Scientific Adviser, has assured that the vaccines approved by India will work for the new variants of SARS-CoV-2, as the new mutations have taken place only in the spike protein while the vaccine affects the entire virus in the body to produce an immune response. The new strain of the virus has 17 changes which has increased the rate of transmission in the virus. This is why UK has been showing more positive cases.

Dr. Raghavan also said that India will be more cautious against the new strain as they are not only testing international travellers but will also test people from across the country. He has advised people to still be very cautious and take precautions ass rolling out vaccines will take time.

Dr. V.K. Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog, said that till now data has not shown that the new strain  of the virus is more severe than the existing strain. Tracing and contacting of Covid positive patients will continue at a “great speed”. If the new strain is not controlled initially, it will spread rapidly in the country, causing the cases to rise again.

Dr, Paul also said that the process of identifying and prioritizing co – morbid patients will be done by forming a committee, consisting of experts from specialties and the committee’s report is expected to be out soon.

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Bribery Case- Delhi councilor arrested!

Manoj Mehlawat, a councillor from Vasant Kunj which falls under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, was arrested in a case of bribery. He was arrested by the CBI from the party’s primary membership and was suspended from the primary membership of the party after the preliminary inquiry report came in.

Mehlawat had allegedly demanded a bribe to allow the construction of a house without any hindrance, after which he was arrested in connection with a 10-lakh rupee bribery case.

He currently has been sent to judicial custody. Praveen Shankar Kapoor who is the Delhi BJP spokesperson stated that “the party has zero-tolerance towards corruption”.

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Pavers of Development are victims of disparities!

 

They provide us with the most essential services which are stepping stones when it comes to the holistic development of any country, yet are greatly ill-treated and underpaid. Teachers, frontline health workers and nurses are still facing disparities even today. When asked Teachers stated that “their work makes the world a better place, they are highly driven by the curiousity they see in class yet are paid very less in comparison to the efforts they put in.”

 

They put in the most efforts and give their best yet are greatly undermined. Nurses, health workers and teachers are taken for granted. For example Anganwadi workers who are an essential part of the education system in rural areas specially have multiple jobs to perform, not only do they teach the students of primary sections but they also have to counsel students on nutrition and health and have to administer various activities in government schools yet most of are paid around Rs.5,000 to Rs.7,000 a month which shows a great disparity in income payment. Today the profession of teaching is hardly encouraged amongst students, it is not considered to be one of the attractive carrier options among youngsters and one of the reasons behind this are the drawback they face even in today’s time. Many areas of the education and nursing industry are still lagging behind and need to be updated.

The other reason behind this is the income disparity as well as the fact that teaching is a carrier which is still undermined by many even though it holds a great value. India currently has around 60 lakh schools but the teacher- student ratio in these schools is a mess.The question of the hour is how many students look forward to teaching as a carrier option and growing in that field?

Teachers are not only underpaid but have other multiple roles to perform along with teaching the students. If this trend continues it will hamper the overall growth and development of the economy. These days teaching has been degraded down to being the last carrier option for many students instead it should be encouraged as one the best carrier options. Many teachers lack training and are not provided proper facilities which is also one of the reasons behind the low number of youngsters opting for teaching as a carrier.

Today many states in India are facing an issue, there is a greater need for Math and Science teachers. Due to a dip in the number of these subject teachers many schools are facing a problem as the workload increases on the pre-existing teachers. Most teaching staff and lab technicians in schools are forced to do other administrative work which also can hinder their interest in continuing the same carrier.

Even though many organisation have come together and have tried to raise their voices on social media still a lacuna is definitely seen. Many organisations support the notion of declaring teaching as the national profession of India, the main reason behind this is to garner attention towards that field.

Health workers are also facing some jarring issues, they are not only paid less but also have to work in a bad environment where they are not provided the required facilities and equipments. According to an analysis (2017) based on statistical data India is short of nearly two milion nurses. Many nurses and health workers are not provided with proper mentoring and hence feel unmotivated to work in the health care sector. Many of them also find the environment they work in to be  lacking certain qualities, many have pointed out the fact that they are taken for granted and at times have had to ignore their personal life in order to meet the demands at work.

Many rural hospitals lacking doctors have health workers and nurses playing the role of an ENT physician or a general physician which can lead to unimaginable consequences as they lack the knowledge and the training required for diagnosis. Such loopholes in the system need to be mended. Besides there prescribed work they are also given many other tasks which they have not been trained for. In the present scenario, currently India is lacking behind as there due to the insufficient number of doctors and nurses. Covid-19 health workers are definitely the true heroes.

Teachers, nurses and health workers form the backbone of the education system and health care system respectively. And on many occasion voices have been spread across the nation in favour of there discrepancies.

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Largest reduction of Malaria cases recorded in India

India records the largest reduction of Malaria Cases; this is not only a beneficial gain for India but also for the South Asian Medical Industry. According to the World Health Organization, South-East Asia, in the year 2000 had a total of twenty million malaria cases and it has reduced down to 5.6 million as of last year (2019).
Countries in South East Asia particularly made strong progress and reported a great decline in the numbers of deaths as well, around 74% of the reduction was seen in the number of deaths while the number of positive malaria cases reduced by 73%. According to WHO India had a great contribution in the drastic decrease of cases. WHO stated that the South East Asian region contributed about 3% to the global malaria cases.
The WHO is contacting countries and health partners to amplify their fight against Malaria which is a preventable and treatable disease, especially the developing countries. Better interventions, updated plans and global funds can help the targeted countries step up their fight against Malaria. These steps need to be implemented in countries which are greatly lagging like South Africa which has gaps that need to be filled in but the fight against Covid-19 has slowed down progress. According to old reports, South Africa adds around 90% of the burden to the global number of Malaria cases. But, with time and implementation of the right methods things can be brought back on track soon.

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Is a Third World War lurking around the corner?

A video surfaced on November 18th, with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), having done an all-out assault at the Taiwan Strait. This may lead to a full-blown war between Taiwan and China. The Chinese state media claimed that the Chinese president Xi Jinping is preparing for war at multiple points. This comes when China and India are at logger’s heads with each other at Pangong Tso. Troops have been deployed at both the sides and dialogues are going on to deescalate the tensions. There is also a trade war going on between the US and China. For instance, India, America, Japan and Australia have signed a pact to not let Chinese company Huawei operate in these countries due to privacy concerns. This may irk China even more against India and the US. There are tensions in Kashmir with Pakistan as well which has been going since the partition.  There is also escalated tensions between China and Japan in the South China Sea over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. China has over the years, has been increasing its presence in the South China Sea.

As China prepares to go to war, in the West the outgoing US president had asked the White House officials for “options” to solve the Iran nuclear problem. His advisors, as per reports have been talking him out of it for now. Tensions have been escalating between Iran and the US after the top general of Iran Qassem Soleimani was killed in the US airstrikes in January.

With a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, fighting may have stopped for now. But the peace brokered by Russia has tilted power towards Azerbaijan. As other countries also have their stakes in this geopolitical conflict, tensions may escalate again in this region. Turkey, Pakistan and China strongly supported Azerbaijan, while Russia had its stakes on Armenia.

In the middle east with the Syrian Civil war raging for over 9 years now, more countries have got involved. With Russia and Iran backing the Syrian government, the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are supporting the rebels. France, the UK and some other western countries are supporting what they call ‘moderate rebels.’  This tension in the middle east has caused a deterioration in the relationship between other countries like the tensions between the US and Turkey and even Iran and Israel.

With a stalemate between the US and North Korea over North Korea’s constant tests of nuclear missiles despite strict warnings from the US, maybe a cause for worry for another brimming war. In 2018, Trump was the first US president to visit North Korea but despite the Trump administrations offering a peace deal with North Korea, the country has shown little interest in peace negotiations. Earlier this year, North Korea said it will give the US a “Christmas present”, which has many worried as it may be a nuclear missile test, however unlikely it may seem.

In August 2020, Russia said that it will perceive any ballistic missile attack on its territory as a nuclear attack and will retaliate with a nuclear weapon. This harsh warning was in the official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) and may have been directed at the US which has developed long-range non-nuclear weapons. Russia may give a nuclear response to a conventional attack on its government or military. Russian interference in the 2016, and 2020 US elections and its annexation of Crimea and war with South-Eastern Ukraine has made the relationship between US and Russia very toxic. The war between Ukraine and Russia has entered its seventh year and there is no end in sight. Even though there are regular ceasefire treaties the war may not be over very soon.

Almost every major country in the world seems to be involved in some form of conflict, escalated tensions or war which is becoming worse as the days pass. A world war seems inevitable if the tensions keep escalating as time passes. With nuclear missiles, modern ammunition and bioweapons, if this war happens, it would be more devastating than the first two World Wars. We can only hope that a peace treaty and other adequate measures are taken by countries before it reaches the threshold.

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The bizarre reason behind India’s low rate of Covid-19 Cases

Since the birth of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been forced to change our lifestyles, implement rigorous cleaning habits which has turning almost everyone into hygiene freaks.
Covid-19 has boosted the sales of sanitizers, face masks and other cleaning products over the last few months. But there is another factor which is protecting us with its hidden shield even though it’s one of the most prominent issues which most Indian cities face today.
We have been told to stay clean and wash away the dirt and dust from time to time. Disgust covers our face when we see the filth in the nooks and alleys of our congested towns and we frown at the living conditions which the poor are forced to live in, but somehow the conditions that we Indians are so used to living in and around might be the reason for the decline in the number of cases, thus putting old theories in this fight against coronavirus to shame.
India’s poor hygiene is the reason behind the country holding the least number of cases in the world. At first, it sounds extremely bizarre but when thought about, this bizarre theory has proven to be an outstanding discovery. Scientists and researchers state that most Indians have a naturally trained immune system to fight this deadly disease. In comparison to people of other nations, people living in third world countries especially Indians, have an immune system that is capable of fighting off the virus. Developing nations are a step ahead in the race to overcome coronavirus as poor sanitation and bad hygiene has elevated our control over Covid-19.
Most Indians living in slums or rural areas are prone to numerous viruses which help in strengthening the immune system which is one of the major factors contributing to the low number of cases is poor sanitation systems. They have even brine used to the polluted air which is released by surrounding industrial areas.Around 40% of the households in India don’t have access to clean water and washing hands with soap regularly are impossible or unheard of. As our bodies become use to our polluted surroundings we are less likely to be infected by viruses.
The Counsel of Scientific Research (CSIR) in India states that most Indians are living in hostile and unsafe environments which hold millions of pathogens and viruses that can give birth to communicable diseases and horrifying infections which although dangerous, has helped in building up strong immunity levels in Indians. They also stated that a low presence of certain viruses and pathogens is due to better hygiene standards and this is linked to a higher rate of low immunity.
First World countries like the USA and UK are known for their cleaner and healthier environment but this is considered to be a drawback as one’s body is hardly exposed to any bacteria or viruses and hence is not trained to fight off diseases which makes the people more prone to various illnesses, especially Covid-19.This is the reason behind children being able to fight against coronavirus as they have immune systems that are smarter and more active and hence work cleverly to protect their body.

Most developed nations face an “immune hypothesis” or a sudden increase in autoimmune troubles which not only makes them more prone to communicable diseases but also more prone to allergies. While developing nations continue to fight the age-old battle against poor sanitation and clean water, developed nations are trying to overcome the problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and smoking.
Even though staying clean and practising good hygiene is the key to keep the virus at bay, poor sanitation has also aided in strengthening the immune systems which has greatly contributed to the low rate of coronavirus infections in India.

In India the vaccine won’t be available to all before 2021,and even though some countries like Russia have already vaccinated a majority of its citizens,still it has not brought in any drastic change in the number of cases,rather it has had many side effects like fever,cough and headache which is somewhat similar to the Covid-19 symptoms. And scientists state that the vaccine won’t have a long lasting effect as the virus keeps on mutating to a great extent. Covid-19 has truly changed our lives along with our lifestyles and has definitely become the ‘new normal’.

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The Invisible Reasons Behind India’s Rape Epidemic

One rape case was reported every 16 minutes in India in 2019. This makes India one of the worst places to be a woman. The rise in the cases of sexual crimes in our country is undeniable. Despite the current cultural change and conversation surrounding women’s safety, India seems to be on the brink of an epidemic. This therefore, forces us to dig deep and question the reason behind India’s rape crisis- is there an increase in the crimes committed or is the number this high due to more cases being officially reported.

Due to waves of Feminism, better education and more awareness, sex has gone from a hushed topic to a more open conversation where people unabashedly talk about their experiences with sexual abuse and assaults. This comfort not only destigmatizes the sufferers of sexual violence but also brings with it a further opportunity to better understand the plight that the victims of these heinous crimes go through. Due to the attackers now being named, understanding the mentality and motives behind these crimes is also becoming easier.

To start with it is important to understand the term xenophobia. The term xenophobia is defined as the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. This can be linked to racism, discrimination, riots, wars and just violence in general. But how does this relate to a secular nation like India? India is in the midst of the largest migration the world has ever seen – the rural to urban migration. Close to 31 villagers are estimated to show up in a city every minute, over the course of the next four decades. This rapid and unprecedented transformation has led to a very violent cultural confrontation. Men from these villages, many of whom have had barely any interaction with the opposite sex other than their mothers or sisters for much of their lives, go from the age old well set caste systems and gendered roles to a place where these old traditional social systems and roles simply cease to exist. With the dawn of modernization and westernization, this leads to a lot of confusion in the minds of these young men and women. Moreover, the government provides less attention to the issues of these migrants.

Only ten percent of internal migrants are employed by the industries while the rest are forced into the informal sector where they work in the streets and live in the slums, disregarded by the state and even the society. This can lead to a sense of deepened xenophobia with these internal migrants viewing themselves as devalued and weaker i.e. more ‘feminine’. Something similar can also be seen in the society, when certain men fail to perform and match consistently to the perceptions of the dominant masculinities they are then devalued or feminized and placed under the same groups as the women. This rural to urban problem contributes as a causal factor in the accelerating rapes in India, especially in a city like Delhi. Despite this transformation being a contributor to this issue, it does not, however, conclude the discussion given the rise in the rates of rape cases within these villages as well. In a country like India where a woman is viewed as the honor of the family, especially in rural areas, a crime like rape becomes a tool for vengeance. With the government launching new schemes and programs to uplift the lower castes, aiming to get them jobs and education, we see a dispersion in the order between castes. This leads to a lot of anger among people of the higher castes who then project their power by raping women of the lower caste. The same tactics are observed in wars. Raping a woman is viewed as a means to ‘emasculate the men of the other community’.

Another alarming reason behind these crimes is India’s skewed sex ratio. With nine hundred and ten women per thousand men in 2020, India has the second lowest sex ratio after China. This may not seem like a big number but when we translate it into India’s population we see, approximately, forty million more men than women. Because of this skewed sex ratio, the age group of 17 to 35 year olds are left single without brides. The same age group is responsible for the most crime, with ninety-five percent of these men having criminal records. Historically a less female to male ratio is correlated to an increase in the number of crimes, violence, and a more patriarchal society.

Men have raped babies as well as 90-year-old women as well as men. Despite that the conversation always seems to be centered around blaming the women and her clothing. The prevalence of rape culture and unwilling to face the facts, not only heightens this victim blaming but can lead to fewer reporting of such cases. This attitude encourages the perpetrators to keep doing all the heinous things they want without being held accountable. However, we do see a positive wave of change with both men and women pointing out the flaws of the system and uniting to seek justice for victims of these crimes. While India is still in the midst of this epidemic, it is us, all of us who should question and stand up for what’s right which moves us closer to a more equal and just society.

Despite being the only country in the South Asian region with e-waste legislation, India only recycles about 1.5% of the total e-waste that it generates every year.

The E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 define e-waste as electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes. Some examples of e-waste include discarded computer monitors, motherboards, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, television sets, air conditioners, refrigerators, radio sets, kitchen appliances, etc.
According to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019. This was up by 21% in just five years. Another worrying statistic was that out of the total waste, only 17.4% was being recycled.
This meant that gold, platinum and other high-value recoverable critical raw materials (cobalt,
palladium, indium, germanium, bismuth, and antimony), worth US $57 billion, would be dumped or burned. The scenario in India was that, out of the 3.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste generated every year, only about 1.5% is recycled.
Satish Sinha, domain expert and associate director at Delhi-based policy advocacy group, Toxics Link says, “India needs to view e-waste as a precious and strategic resource since it contains 69 elements from the periodic table and some of these are highly precious and strategic in nature.”
On e-waste management in India, he cited implementation and compliance deficits as the major issues. He also raised concerns over several inadequacies in regulatory mechanism and the ground realities which need to be plugged.
A UN report on e-waste management in India also said that enforcing rules remains a challenge, along with other aspects, the lack of proper collection and logistics infrastructure, limited awareness of consumers on the hazards of improper disposal of e-waste, the lack of standards for collection, dismantling of e-waste and treatment of it, and an inefficient and tedious reporting process being some of them.

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India is ready for a Two-Front war, warns Air Chief Marshal Bhaudauria

Air Chief Marshal has recently said in a statement that ‘With Indian Air Force’s strong deployment in Eastern Ladakh, India is ready to face a two-front war.’ The statement comes days before the commencement of Air Force Day celebrations on October 8.

The Indian Air Force prior to this declaration has already placed several of its fighter jets i.e – Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircrafts, along the line of actual control.

 

Indian till date, has never faced China in an all out airstrike, as it has done with Pakistan during last year Balakot air strikes, where a terrorist camp was allegedly demolished, as claimed by the Indian government.

 

Recent conflicts have risen due to the 5 months long standoff in Ladakh between India and China. Border standoff in Galwan valley during the month of June with Chinese troops, has resulted in the martyrdom of 20 soldiers on Indian side.

 

 To assuage the situation, Commander level talks based on a five point principle has been proposed, but despite that a concrete solution to solve the situation has not been agreed upon yet. Also, in the diplomatic meeting between External Affairs minister S.Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow, the indian side has demanded strict obedience to the agreements on both sides. 

Due to the inconclusiveness of Diplomatic and Commander level talks between the two countries, the situation could take a turn for the worse.

 

With rapid technological transformations in the defence sector, there is a growing tension of an all out conflict now, more than ever. The recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan army at Line of Control (LoC) has aggravated the border situation.

 

In view of the recent Chinese Aggressions, India has already toned up a higher level of security in the conflicted regions of Ladakh for damage control and preventing the worsening of the situation. 

 

The tensions have been rising between both the countries for a long time, if an immediate resolution is not reached on time – the situation could become fatal for both the sides.