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.