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
When you ask people about the most common food in India, they usually respond with wheat, rice and pulses. Food grains are ingrained in our culture, but there are better alternatives. Did you know, humans require more than 20 mineral elements for the body to function properly?
Calcium (Ca), one of the essential macro minerals, is needed in relatively large quantities in the diet to maintain good overall health. There is one ingredient which is not only simple to prepare, but also entails many health benefits Millets.
Prabhu Gandhikumar Co-Founder TABP Snacks and Beverages shares simple ways prepare and use millets :
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Boosts Immunity Level
Millets are high source of antioxidants and therefore are considered as an immunity booster to flush out harmful radicals from the body. It aids your body's detoxification by supplying antioxidants such as quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other useful catechins, which aid in the elimination of toxins and the neutralization of enzymes in your organs. Thus, preventing variety of health issues.
Aids and Manages Weight Loss in Humans
Millets help you lose weight since they are low in calories and gluten-free. They're high in complex carbohydrates and can help health-conscious people reach their fitness goals easily. Millets also help to lower your cholesterol levels and keep your weight in check.
Helps in Digestion
Millets have a high fiber content, which helps with digestion and prevents constipation, bloating, and acidity. Good digestion avoids digestive complaints which humans generally makes, like gastrointestinal cancer and kidney/liver complaints.
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Reduces Cardiovascular Risks
Millets are high in essential fats, which provide our bodies with their own natural fats. It prevents us from storing excess fat in our bodies, lowering our risk of high cholesterol, paralysis, and other heart problems. Millets contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and increase circulation.
Millets Fight Back Type-2 Diabetes
Millets, as you might have noticed, are high in magnesium, a mineral that is critical for starch digestion. Magnesium is needed for the production of many carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, including those that regulate insulin action. Researchers discovered that eating magnesium-rich whole grains can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, it can help to prevent osteoporosis and bone damage.
When embarking on a journey of healthy living or attempting to lose weight, you do not deprive yourself by refusing to eat; rather, you substitute those foods that do not help in weight loss with healthier foods that promote good health. Millets will keep you fit and strong for the rest of your life. It provides a significant amount of nutrients for our human diet. Millets should be a part of your diet for solid, healthy bones!
Read More► Eat according to your Doshas
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) IT major Cognizant on Monday announced a nationwide drive to vaccinate more than 650,000 associates, their families and support teams, along with delivering 1,000 oxygenated beds, ventilators and vaccinations through $8.5 million (about Rs 60 crore) in Covid relief for the worst-hit communities.The vaccination drive for associates and families, launched in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, is expanded to 100 vaccination centres (CVCs) across 40 cities and will be further extended, the company said in a statement. The vaccinations will be administered at Cognizant's own facilities and through a network of hospitals managed by healthcare providers, including, Apollo, Columbia ASIA, Fortis and Manipal. Cognizant will cover the costs of vaccines, enable time-off and ensure vaccine reimbursements, where needed."Our first priority is to protect our associates, their dependents, and support teams during these challenging times. We have partnered with top-tier healthcare providers and hospitals with pan India presence to help ensure access to critical health services and vaccinations," said Rajesh Nambiar, Executive Vice President and Chairman, Cognizant India.The efforts are part of ‘Operation C3,' Cognizant's Covid-19 rapid response programme.The vaccinations will be administered at Cognizant's own facilities and through a network of hospitals managed by healthcare providers. The company will cover the costs of vaccines, enable time-off and ensure vaccine reimbursements, where needed. Additionally, Cognizant India Foundation has collaborated with several NGOs and health authorities to mobilise delivery of 1,000 oxygenated COVID care beds for free community, paediatric ICU units, over 7 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) for the front-line workers.More than 8,000 people have received vaccinations in these camps so far in the ongoing drive, the company informed.To combat the deadly second wave, the company has granted $2 million in emergency funding to UNICEF, $6.2 million to operationalise relief efforts through Cognizant India Foundation and Outreach programmes. --IANSna/
London, May 20 (IANS) The human body's endocrine system that makes hormones is strongly involved in the SARS-Cov-2 infection -- the virus behind Covid-19 -- so much so that evidence of an "endocrine phenotype" of Coronavirus has emerged, according to a statement by the European Society of Endocrinology.A team of scientists from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain looked at the available evidence with respect to Covid-19 across a number of endocrine conditions and related factors: diabetes, obesity, nutrition, hypocalcemia, vitamin D insufficiency, vertebral fractures, adrenal insufficiency, as well as pituitary/thyroid issues and sex hormones.The effect on hormones cannot be ignored in the context of Covid-19," said lead author Manel Puig from the varsity, adding "the evidence is clear"."We need to be aware of the endocrine consequences of Covid-19 for patients with a known endocrine condition such as diabetes, obesity or adrenal insufficiency, but also for people without a known condition. Vitamin D insufficiency for example is very common, and the knowledge that this condition has emerged frequently in the hospitalised Covid-19 population and may negatively impact outcomes should not be taken lightly," Puig added, in the statement published in the journal Endocrine.Diabetes has emerged as one of the most frequent comorbidities associated with severity and mortality of Covid-19, according to a rapidly increasing amount of published data on the incidence of Covid-19 in patients over the last year.Mortality in Type-1 or Type-2 diabetes has consistently increased during the year of pandemic,A and evidence is emerging that a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and Covid-19 may exist, both in terms of worsening existing conditions and new onset of diabetes.Similar trends were identified for people with obesity. Obesity increases susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and the risk for Covid-19 adverse outcomes.The researchers posit that nutritional management is important both for patients with obesity or undernourishment in order to limit their increased susceptibility and severity of infection. Vitamin D, calcium and bone are other areas showing a growing body of evidence that better monitoring and solutions for patients are needed in the context of Covid-19.--IANSrvt/ash
Paris, May 18 (IANS) A Covid-19 vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) has shown strong rates of neutralising antibody responses against the infectious Coronavirus disease in the Phase-II trial.The Phase-II trial, which involved 722 adult volunteers from the US and Honduras between 18 to 95 years old, did not raise any safety concerns and also produced a strong immune response across all age groups.It showed 95 per cent to 100 per cent seroconversion following a second injection, while a single jab produced high neutralising antibody levels among people with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. This suggested the vaccine's strong potential for development as a booster shot.The vaccine also elicited strong neutralising antibody levels that were comparable to those generated by natural infection. The higher levels observed in people between 18 to 59 years old."Our Phase 2 data confirm the potential of this vaccine to play a role in addressing this ongoing global public health crisis, as we know multiple vaccines will be needed, especially as variants continue to emerge and the need for effective and booster vaccines, which can be stored at normal temperatures, increases," said Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur, in a statement."These positive data show the potential of this protein-based adjuvanted vaccine candidate in the broader context of the pandemic, including the need to address variants and to provide for booster doses. We believe that this vaccine candidate can make a significant contribution to the ongoing fight against Covid-19," added Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines.In December, last year, the Sanofi-GSK faced a major setback after their experimental Covid-19 vaccine did not appear to work well in older adults.The pharma companies, now, aim to start a global pivotal Phase 3 study in the coming weeks. The Phase-III trial is expected to enroll more than 35,000 adult participants from a broad range of countries and will assess the efficacy of two vaccine formulations including the D614 (Wuhan) and B1351 (South African) variants.The French pharma company Sanofi and its British peer GSK aim to produce up to one billion doses in 2021.In addition, the companies also intend to conduct booster studies with various variant formulations in order to assess the ability of a lower dose of the vaccine to generate a strong booster response regardless of the initial vaccine platform received.--IANSrvt/in
New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Two days after warning that the third wave of Covid is inevitable, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, K. VijayRaghavan on Friday stepped back, saying that it may not happen if strong steps and measures are taken.Addressing the Union Health Ministry press briefing, he said: "If we take strong steps and measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all."It all depends on how much the guidelines are effectively implemented at local level."Asked about reports of mucormycosis among Covid-19 patients, NITI Aayog's Member, Health, Prof V.K. Paul said: "Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) is detected mostly in diabetic patients. We want to reassure that there is no major outbreak and we are doing proper surveillance of the situation."He pointed out that there are three factors triggering this fungal infection: uncontrolled diabetes, immunosuppression because of steroids or any other disease and exposure to a wet surface."Mucormycosis is absolutely preventable and if one's diabetes is under control, there is no reason to worry," Paul said.Meanwhile, Additional Secretary, Health, Arti Ahuja said: "States and UTs, including Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, are showing early signs of plateauing or decrease in daily new Covid cases."About vaccine coverage, she said: "So far, a total 16.50 crore doses have been administered across all eligible categories. Over 12.66 crore people above 45 years have administered vaccines. 1,59 health care workers, 2.13 crore frontline workers and 11.81 lakh people aged between 18 to 44 years have been administered vaccines."As per government data, there are 24 states where the positivity rate is more than 15 per cent, nine states have a positivity rate between five to 15 per cent and three states have a positivity rate less than five per cent. The country is reporting daily new cases growth rate of one per cent in the last seven days. Twelve states/UTs have more than one lakh active cases, seven states and UTs have 50,000 to one lakh active cases, and 17 have less than 50,000 active cases.--IANSssb/vd