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    Serum Institute developing vaccine to protect against JN.1 variant, says former ICMR DG-Telangana Today

    Serum Institute developing vaccine to protect against JN.1 variant, says former ICMR DG-Telangana Today


    Former Director General of ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava said that initial signs of the recent rise of Covid cases clearly indicate mild infections

    Published Date – 09:03 PM, Wed – 27 December 23


    Serum Institute developing vaccine to protect against JN.1 variant, says former ICMR DG

    former DG, ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava along with Rajkumari Indira Devi Dhanrajgir

    Hyderabad: Allaying fears among people following the surge of Covid infections due to JN.1, the new sub-variant of the corona virus, former Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr Balram Bhargava on Wednesday said that initial signs of the recent rise of Covid cases clearly indicate mild infections.

    Dr Bhargava, who played a central role in the country’s response during the three-waves of Covid pandemic, said the Serum Institute was developing a vaccine that has the potential to provide protection even from the recently identified JN.1 sub-variant.


    “Apparently, Serum Institute has a vaccine based on nanotechnology, which has been exported to United States. While it is still early days, this vaccine has a lot of promise and appears to be effective against the JN.1,” he said.

    The former Head of ICMR, who delivered Dr MVN Shirodkar Memorial Lecture’ on ‘India’s Covid Saga’, organised by Telangana Academy of Sciences (TAS), urged people to be careful from the JN.1 sub-variant and continue to take precautions. “On their part, the public health departments must take-up surveillance of ILI and SARI cases and senior citizens must wear masks for protection and avoid crowded areas,” he said.

    Dr Bhargava made it clear that at this moment, there was no need for people to get administered with a Covid vaccine. “The two regular Covid vaccine shots and one booster shot, which were earlier recommended by Government of India, are enough. At present, taking precautions and not panicking is important,” he said.

    Commenting on the efficacy of Covid vaccines, Dr Bhargava said vaccines don’t prevent infection but they can prevent serious disease and death.

    Unlike in Western countries, where a lot of side effects were reported due to mRNA vaccines, Covid vaccines in India (Covaxin and Covishield) did very well. “I do not believe in the concept of herd immunity and therefore urge people to take necessary basic precautions from Covid-19,” he said.

    Senior scientists from all affiliated CSIR and ICMR laboratories and senior office bearers of TAS and Rajkumari Indira Devi Dhanrajgir were present.



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