New York, June 29 (IANS) Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the first two jabs authorised for emergency use against Covid-19 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), produce immune responses that are both strong and potentially long-lasting, finds a study.While both vaccines performed well in clinical trials, and have been widely credited with reducing disease, concerns remained over how long immunity induced by the mRNA-based shots will last.The study, led by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis showed that nearly four months after the first dose people who received the Pfizer vaccine still had so-called germinal centers in their lymph nodes churning out immune cells directed against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.The team found that even three weeks after the first dose, all 14 participants had formed germinal centers with B cells producing antibodies that target a key SARS-CoV-2 protein. The response expanded greatly after the booster shot and then stayed high. Even 15 weeks after the first dose, eight of 10 people still had detectable germinal centers containing B cells targeting the virus."Germinal centers are the key to a persistent, protective immune response," said Ali Ellebedy, Associate Professor of pathology and immunology, of medicine and of molecular microbiology."Germinal centers are where our immune memories are formed. And the longer we have a germinal center, the stronger and more durable our immunity will be because there's a fierce selection process happening there, and only the best immune cells survive," Ellebedy added.Moreover, vaccination led to high levels of neutralising antibodies effective against three variants of the virus, including the Beta variant from South Africa that has shown some resistance to vaccines.Vaccination also induced stronger antibody responses in people who had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to those who had never been infected. Among people without prior exposure to the virus, antibody levels rose slowly after the first dose and peaked one week after the second.Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created with mRNA technology. Unlike most vaccines, which provide bits of viral or bacterial proteins to trigger an immune response, mRNA-based vaccines provide instructions for the body to build and release foreign proteins, such as the spike protein in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.--IANSrvt/ksk/
Chicago, June 29 (IANS) Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found evidence that the immune response to Covid-19 vaccines, namely Pfizer and Moderna, is both strong and potentially long-lasting.The researchers extracted cells from 14 people who received the Pfizer vaccine. Samples were obtained three weeks after the first dose, and at weeks four, five and seven. Ten of the participants gave additional samples 15 weeks after the first dose. None of the participants previously had been infected with the virus that causes Covid-19, the Xinhua news agency reported.Three weeks after the first dose, all 14 participants had formed germinal centers with B cells producing antibodies that target a key SARS-CoV-2 protein, the virus that causes Covid-19. The response expanded greatly after the booster shot and then stayed high. Even 15 weeks after the first dose, eight of 10 people still had detectable germinal centres containing B cells targeting the virus."This is evidence of a really robust immune response," said co-senior author Rachel Presti, associate professor of medicine. "Your immune system uses germinal centres to perfect the antibodies so they can bind well and last as long as possible. The antibodies in the blood are the end result of the process, but the germinal centre is where it is happening."The researchers also obtained blood samples from 41 people who received the Pfizer vaccine, including eight who previously had been infected with the virus that causes Covid-19. Samples were obtained prior to the administration of each dose of the vaccine, as well as at weeks four, five, seven and 15 after the first dose. In people without prior exposure to the virus, antibody levels rose slowly after the first dose and peaked one week after the second. People who previously had been infected already had antibodies in their blood before the first dose. Their levels shot up quickly after the first dose and peaked higher than the uninfected participants' levels."When we looked at the data we could see an effect," said co-first author Jane O'Halloran, an assistant professor of medicine. "If you've already been infected and then you get vaccinated, you get a boost to your antibody levels. The vaccine clearly adds benefit, even in the context of prior infection, which is why we recommend that people who have had Covid-19 get the vaccine."Moreover, vaccination led to high levels of neutralizing antibodies effective against three variants of the virus, including the Beta variant from South Africa that has shown some resistance to vaccines.Unlike most vaccines, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created with mRNA technology, and mRNA-based vaccines provide instructions for the body to build and release foreign proteins, such as the spike protein in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.The study is published Monday in the journal Nature. --IANSint/rs
New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Yoga has long been known as a holistic medium to achieve health and wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic has further put the spotlight on the myriad benefits of yoga.
On the occasion of International Day of Yoga on Monday, experts said that practising yoga can boost respiratory health and immunity post Covid.
It has been observed that nearly 10 per cent of people diagnosed with Covid-19 experience prolonged symptoms, including breathing trouble, headaches, blood clots, nausea, fatigue and muscle pain which may last for weeks, months, possibly years even after recovery.
Apart from a healthy diet, yoga can play an important role in the recovery process post Covid, experts said.
"Yoga can help support, balance and boost the immune system and can help fight oxidative stress that poses a risk to the healthy cells. While the novel coronavirus especially attacks the respiratory system, breathing exercise or 'pranayam' can help a lot in strengthening the system if done in a correct way and under good guidance," Ismit Tyagi, Consultant Physiotherapist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurugram, told IANS.
Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 can do some easy yoga movements to increase the body's capacity.
"Movements like Tadasana, Chakrasana, Trikonasana, Bhujangasana and Pawanmuktasana will not only help in increasing the capacity of the lungs, but will also increase the amount of oxygenated blood in the body and transfer direct blood to the brain, due to which the body feels strong and young. Yoga also helps to maintain proper alignment of our body besides enhancing our immunity," said Chitra Kataria, Head-Rehabilitation, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi.
Besides physical health, the pandemic has taken a severe toll on the mental health of people -- dealing with the deaths of loved ones, loss of jobs, being cooped up at home and uncertainty of the future. All these can result in feelings of anxiety and despair.
"Yoga could be useful during the pandemic in three ways -- helping to cope with the stress by alleviating depression and anxiety, improving the respiratory system which is mainly damaged by the virus, and boosting immunity. Yoga is a great tool to help improve respiratory health and immunity, both of which are involved in the prevention and healing from Covid-19," said Tilak Suvarna, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.
While yoga and meditation are known to be beneficial for holistic health, there is no proof that they help the human body to fight coronavirus. However, studies on yoga in managing flu symptoms during an influenza season have shown promising results, the experts noted.
Regular yoga practice can also help people of all ages prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes -- a major risk factor for developing severe Covid-19 symptoms, said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.
NCDs kill 41 million people globally every year, more than a third of them prematurely.
"People living with NCDs are at higher risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms. They must continue to be provided uninterrupted access to NCD services and encouraged and enabled to take preventive action, for which yoga at home can prove beneficial and safe," Singh said.
"Yoga is a powerful way for people of all ages and incomes, whatever their gender or ethnicity, to prevent and control NCDs, increase overall physical and mental health, and reduce individual and public health expenditure," she added.
Yoga not only increases range of motion, overall mobility, and boost bone health but also increases immunity in men. Here are some yoga asanas that may help.
The world is going through a strange phase. A pandemic has been raging for two years, with no end in sight. Millions of people around the world are suffering from the dreaded COVID-19 virus, with many losing their battle against the disease. Social interactions have become limited as more and more people isolate themselves with the hopes of leading a safer, illness-free life.
However, living in isolation does not guarantee a disease free life. Apart from COVID-19 a number of illnesses may strike an individual. At such times it is best to boost one's immune system by eating healthy, exercising and practising yogasanas.
Also, Read► Yoga Poses That Can Help You Reduce Belly Fat And Get Super Sculpted Abs
Dietary and lifestyle changes may help strengthen one's natural defenses and help them fight harmful pathogens, or disease-causing organisms. Yoga poses can increase range of motion, overall mobility, and boost bone health as well.
According to a study by John Hopkins Medicine, yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. Furthermore, yoga helps people who are going through an illness, recovering from surgery, or living with chronic conditions faster.
Here’s looking at yoga asanas that can help men boost their immunity:
Wonderful for the nervous system and for combatting anxiety and depression, one has to begin by lying flat on the stomach and lifting the shoulders. Once in position, they have to extend the hands forward, bending at the elbows, and relaxing the glutes while lifting the neck. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Make sure you perform this asana 4-5 hours after having your main meal. It is best to do it in the early morning. Lie on your stomach, with feet apart and in line with hips. Fold your knees, take the hands backwards and hold your ankles. Breathe in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and towards the back. Stay in position while taking deep breaths for 15-20 seconds.
Lie flat on your stomach and stretch out your arms. Keep your knees straight and feet together. Inhale and lift your legs and arms up together. Lift your head up raising your chest off the floor as much as possible and hold for 10-15 seconds.
A bit more difficult to master, the Crow Pose will see you begin on all fours with your palms and knees on the ground. Place your elbows down aligned shoulder distance and spread your fingers and bring your knees to your triceps. Lean forward while shifting your body weight onto your triceps. Slowly lift both your feet off the ground and balance. Focus and hold position.
Read More► Can major health issues be managed and cured with Yoga?
Chandigarh, June 21 (IANS) Extending wishes on International Yoga Day, Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya on Monday said the immunity of the body can be enhanced by performing regular yoga, exercises and 'pranayama'.In his message, Arya said yoga is an invaluable gift of the ancient Indian tradition and the art of leading a healthy life.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promoting yoga on a humanity basis to maintain the health of the people across the world.Yoga practice has got recognition at international level due to the efforts made by the Prime Minister.He said doctors and experts across the world believe that the impact of coronavirus can be decreased by practicing yoga and boosting the immunity of the body.In such a situation, the importance of yoga has been increased.--IANSvg/pgh
Bengaluru, June 19 (IANS) Karnataka decided to resume free distribution of milk powder - Ksheera Bhagya - temporarily to school children enrolled in all government schools across the state aimed at boosting their immunity levels.According to the circular issued by the government on Friday late night, this free distribution of milk scheme - Ksheera Bhagya - would be resumed temporarily. "Each school student from class 1 to 10 will receive a supply of free 500 gm milk powder for two months, June and July," the circular stated.The Karnataka government's decision to resume milk supply assumes significance in the backdrop of several child activists, NGOs, working with slums, health experts besides Leader of the Opposition, Siddaramaiah, who had launched this scheme in 2013, had been demanding to resume supply of milk to school children on multiple occasions and forums.Owing to logistical challenges and other issues, Karnataka had stopped supplying free milk to schools as schools had closed down physically due to outbreak of pandemic in March 2020.The circular stated that the scheme is targeted towards covering 56,64,873 children studying in Class 1 to Class 10 in around 51,000 government schools.The state government had already commenced its milk powder distribution to children aged below 6 years through its vast network of Anganwadis. Around 39 lakh children are enrolled in around 64,000 Anganwadis in the state.Just four days ago on July 15, Karnataka women and child welfare minister, Shashikala Jolle after reviewing the child nutrition programme had told reporters that there are around 4.47 lakh malnourished children in the state and among these 7,751 children are severely malnourished."Currently our focus is on streamlining and improving the tackling of malnourishment among these children as malnourishment programmes have been severely affected due to prolonged lockdowns and severe restrictions of transport movement. We are trying to address these issues case by case basis," she had said."Malnutrition is major issue for the children from the economically backward sections, hence, the government must take steps to resume free distribution of milk before third Covid wave hits the state," Siddaramaiah had said in a letter to the CM.--IANSnbh/skp/
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