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Depression, stress could moderate viability of COVID19 antibodies: Study

With ANI inputs

New delhi, Jan 17: A study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science shows that downturn, stress, loneliness, and chronic weakness practices can debilitate the body’s immune system and lower the adequacy of specific antibodies.

A study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science shows that downturn, stress, loneliness, and chronic weakness practices can debilitate the body’s immune system and lower the adequacy of specific antibodies.

The report proposes that the equivalent might be valid for the new COVID-19 immunizations that are being developed and the beginning phases of worldwide distribution.

Fortunately, it may be possible to reduce these negative effects with simple steps like exercise and sleep.Vaccines are among the safest and most effective advances in medical history, protecting society from a wide range of otherwise devastating diseases, including smallpox and polio. The key to their success, however, is ensuring that a critical percentage of the population is effectively vaccinated to achieve so-called herd immunity.

Even though rigorous testing has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution in the United States are highly effective at producing a robust immune response, not everyone will immediately gain their full benefit. Environmental factors, as well as an individual’s genetics and physical and mental health, can weaken the body’s immune system, slowing the response to a vaccine.

This is particularly troubling as the novel coronavirus continues to rage across the world, trigging a concurrent mental health crisis as people deal with isolation, economic stressors, and uncertainty about the future. These challenges are the same factors that have been previously shown to weaken vaccine efficacy, particularly among the elderly.

“In addition to the physical toll of COVID-19, the pandemic has an equally troubling mental health component, causing anxiety and depression, among many other related problems.

Emotional stressors like these can affect a person’s immune system, impairing their ability to ward off infections,” said Annelise Madison, a researcher at The Ohio State University and lead author on the paper.

“Our new study sheds light on vaccine efficacy and how health behaviors and emotional stressors can alter the body’s ability to develop an immune response. The trouble is that the pandemic in and of itself could be amplifying these risk factors.”

Vaccines work by challenging the immune system. Within hours of a vaccination, there is an innate, general immune response on the cellular level as the body begins to recognize a potential biological threat. This frontline response by the immune system is eventually aided by the production of antibodies, which target specific pathogens. It is the continued production of antibodies that helps to determine how effective a vaccine is at conferring long-term protection.

“In our research, we focus most heavily on the antibody response, though it is just one facet of the adaptive immune system’s response,” said Jce Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at The Ohio State University and senior author on the paper.

The good news, according to the researchers, is that the COVID-19 vaccines already in circulation are approximately 95% effective. Even so, these psychological and behavioural factors can lengthen the amount of time it takes to develop immunity and can shorten the duration of immunity.

“The thing that excites me is that some of these factors are modifiable, it’s possible to do some simple things to maximize the vaccine’s initial effectiveness,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.

Based on prior research, one strategy the researchers suggest is to engage in vigorous exercise and get a good night’s sleep in the 24 hours before vaccination so that your immune system is operating at peak performance. This may help ensure that the best and strongest immune response happens as quickly as possible.

“Prior research suggests that psychological and behavioural interventions can improve vaccine responsiveness. Even shorter-term interventions can be effective. Therefore, now is the time to identify those at risk for a poor immune response and intervene on these risk factors,” said Madison.

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Second vaccine dose must if you get Covid after first jab: DAK

(Asian News Hub) – If you have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and got infected with the virus, you should go for the second shot soon after the recovery,”said Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday in a communiqué.

“People who contract Covid after the first dose still need to get the second jab,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

“However, you shouldn’t get the vaccine while sick,” he said.

Dr Hassan said you should get your second dose as soon as your isolation is over.

“One should take the second shot 2 weeks after all the symptoms of Covid have been resolved,” he said.

“I am aware of several cases where someone tested positive for Covid-19 after getting their first dose,” Dr Hassan said.

“They should get their second dose of the vaccine after they get over with their quarantine to gain its full protective benefits,” he said.

The DAK President said you are fully protected against the Covid only after the second dose.

“It is vitally important to get both doses for best protection against the Covid,” he said.

“First dose primes the body with an initial immune response,” Dr Nisar said.

“Second dose is the one that really gives the boost to the immune system. It induces a level of virus neutralizing antibodies about 10-fold greater than the first dose,” he said.

“Also, second dose induces cellular immunity, which predicts not only longer protection, but better protection against variant strains,” he added.

Dr Nisar said there are two Covid-19 vaccines that are being used in Kashmir right now – Covaxin and Covishield which have two-dose schedule.

He said doses are spaced depending on which vaccine you get. ​ ​

“The time interval between two doses of Covaxin is 4-6 weeks, while second dose of Covishield can be taken 4-8 weeks after the first. But, there is some data that delaying the second dose of Covishield up to 12 weeks gives a better immune boost,” he informed.

“It is imperative to take the same vaccine for both doses and mixing of the two should not be done,” he added.

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India could see 10 Lakh Covid-19 deaths by August 01: Lancet

(Asian News Hub) – India could see a staggering 10 lakh deaths from Covid-19 by August 1, according to an editorial in the British medical journal Lancet. If that outcome were to happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe, the top peer reviewed journal said on Friday.
 
So far, 2,50,025 have died of Covid-19 in the country so far.

The Lancet editorial quoted the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research organisation, in giving its projection for a million (10 lakh) deaths by August 1. “India squandered its early successes in controlling Covid-19. Until April, the government’s Covid-19 taskforce had not met in months,” the editorial said.
 
The science journal said that India must now restructure its response while the crisis rages. “The success of that effort will depend on the government owning up to its mistakes, providing responsible leadership and transparency, and implementing a public health response that has science at its heart.”

Lancet, in its editorial, has suggested that India should adopt a two-pronged strategy. It said that the “botched vaccination” campaign must be rationalised and implemented speedily. For this, it should increase the vaccine supply and set up a distribution campaign that can cover not just urban but also rural and poorer citizens.
 
Secondly, India needs to control transmission of the virus, publish accurate data in a timely manner and explain to the public what is happening and what is needed to bend the epidemic curve, including the possibility of a new federal lockdown.  “Modi’s actions in attempting to stifle criticism and open discussion during the crisis are inexcusable,” Lancet said. 

Genome sequencing too needs to be expanded to better track, understand, and control emerging and more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, it said.
 
In a sharp criticism of the government strategy, Lancet said despite warnings about the risks of superspreader events, the government allowed religious festivals to go ahead, drawing millions of people from around the country, along with huge political rallies—conspicuous for their lack of Covid mitigation measures.
 
It also noted that modelling suggested falsely that India had reached herd immunity, encouraging complacency and insufficient preparation. “At times, Modi’s government has seemed more intent on removing criticism on Twitter than trying to control the pandemic.”

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WHO classifies triple-mutant Covid variant from India as global health risk

(Asian News Hub) – A World Health Organization official said Monday it is reclassifying the highly contagious triple-mutant Covid variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern,” indicating that it’s become a global health threat.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its weekly situation report on the pandemic Tuesday but added that the variant, known as B.1.617, has been found in preliminary studies to spread more easily than the original virus and there is some evidence it may able to evade some of the protections provided by vaccines.

“And as such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level,” she said during a press conference. “Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage in all of the sub lineages, so we need more sequencing, targeted sequencing to be done.”The WHO said last week it was closely following at least 10 coronavirus variants across the world, including the B.1.617.

The variant was previously labeled a “variant of interest” as more studies were needed to completely understand its significance, Van Kerkhove said.

“What it means for anybody at home is any of the SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating can infect you and spread and everything in that sense is of concern,” she said Monday. “So, all of us at home, no matter where we live, no matter what virus is circulating, we need to make sure that we take all of the measures at hand to prevent ourselves from getting sick.”

A variant can be labeled as “of concern” if it has been shown to be more contagious, more deadly and more resistant to current vaccines and treatments, according to the WHO.

The group issued a clarification Monday to their earlier remarks, saying that current data shows the existing Covid-19 vaccines “remain effective at preventing disease and death in people infected with this variant.”

The international organization has already designated three other variants with the classification: B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the U.K. and is the most prevalent variant currently circulating throughout the U.S.; B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, and the P.1 variant, first detected in Brazil.

B.1.617 has three sublineages, Van Kerkhove said, that will be described in the situation report Tuesday.

The variant is believed by some to be behind the latest wave of infections in India.

The country is averaging about 3,879 Covid deaths per day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, though media reports indicate the official figure is being understated.

It has reported an average of about 391,000 new cases per day over the past seven days — up about 4% from a week ago, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

The variant has since spread to other countries, including the United States.

CNBC

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