Kumaraguru Action for Relief and Empowerment (KARE), was founded in Nov, 2015 during the Chennai floods. KARE supports the victims of natural disasters such as floods, cyclone and other calamities and has supported during Kerala floods & Gaja Cyclone. This is a volunteer movement of Kumaraguru Institutions where many join hands when the need arises.
KARE COVID 19 Response Bulletin is an effort by a group of Kumaraguru alumni, students & informed citizens alike to clear the clutter around COVID 19 by providing informative, insightful news, articles & data around the world under various tags such as Research, Technology, Education, Economy & Insights with a short summary for each.
COVID19 Basic Info & Previous Bulletin Link: tinyurl.com/blog-KARE
|COVID-19||Active Cases||Recovered||Casualties |
THE SCIENTISTS BEHIND COVID-19 VACCINES
Prof Sarah Gilbert: The woman who designed the Oxford vaccine
As a young student in biological sciences, Prof Sarah Gilbert was energised by the diversity of thought and experience. But when she progressed to her doctorate, she found the tunnel-like focus was not to her liking. Prof Sarah Gilbert says, “I like to try to take into account ideas from lots of different areas.” At one point, Prof Sarah Gilbert even considered leaving science and doing something different. When the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus struck, Dr Gilbert travelled to Saudi Arabia to try to develop a vaccine for this form of coronavirus. It was during the second trial of this vaccine, in early 2020, that the COVID-19 struck, and she quickly realised she might be able to use the same approach. At the University of Oxford, she played an instrumental role in developing the COVID-19 vaccine that is proven to be highly effective against COVID-19. |BBC
Katalin Karikó – She was demoted, doubted and rejected. Now, her work is the basis of the COVID-19 vaccine
Karikó has spent decades of her career researching the therapeutic possibilities of mRNA, a component of DNA that is considered to be one of the main building blocks of life. In 1985, she and her husband and young daughter left Hungary for the US after she got an invitation from Temple University in Philadelphia. She continued her research at Temple, and then at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. Karikó’s idea that mRNA research could be used to fight disease was deemed too radical, too financially risky to fund. She also was diagnosed with cancer around the same time. But she stuck with it. Karikó and her former colleague at the University of Pennsylvania, Drew Weissman, developed a method of utilizing synthetic mRNA to fight disease that involves changing the way the body produces virus-fighting material. That discovery is now the basis of the COVID-19 vaccine. |CNN
Dr K Sumathy – The scientist leading the research wing of Bharat Biotech
Dr. K Sumathy is an Indian scientist who leads the research and development wing of Bharat Biotech. Bharat Biotech, an Indian biotech company headquartered at Hyderabad developed India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. A member of the core team of scientists responsible for COVID-19 vaccine development, Dr K Sumathy was also instrumental in developing successful vaccines against diseases like Zika and Chikungunya too. Her unparalleled expertise and experience in the field of vaccine development proved to be crucial given the urgency to develop COVID-19 vaccine. |ShethePeople
COVID’s Forgotten Hero – Ian MacLachlan
57-year-old Canadian Biochemist Ian MacLachlan has been revealed to be the scientist who is most responsible for the critical delivery method of mRNA-based vaccines. MacLachan, a chief scientific officer of Protiva Biotherapeutics and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, led the team that developed this commendable system. Scientific papers and FDA regulatory documents indicate that the vaccines used by both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech use a delivery system that is quite similar to what Ian MacLachlan envisioned and worked on at Tekmira. “A lot of credit goes to Ian MacLachan for the LNP (Lipid nano-particle),” said Katalin Karikó, the scientist who laid the growndwork for mRNA therapies before joining BioNTech in 2013. |Forbes
The immunologist who works with Moderna – Dr Kizzmekia Corbett
Dr Kizzmekia Corbett is an African-American viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She is currently the leading scientist of the VRC’s Coronavirus Team, set up for research and development of vaccines for a myriad of novel coronavirus vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine. She is part of a team that worked with the biotechnology company Moderna for two COVID-19 vaccines. |ShethePeople
THE VACCINE MANUFACTURERS
COVAXIN – India’s First Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccine by Bharath Biotech
Bharat Biotech is a pioneering biotechnology company known for its world-class R&D and manufacturing capabilities. COVAXIN, India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech is developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV). The indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility. The vaccine is developed using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell derived platform technology. It is a 2-dose vaccination regimen given 28 days apart. |Bharat Biotech
How India’s Serum Institute became a COVID-19 vaccine powerhouse
The Serum Institute began not with pipettes and lab coats but with prized racing horses. At the time, India was experiencing major vaccine shortages, with most of its costly supply coming from Europe. Poonawalla decided to start his own lab on the farm, launching the Serum Institute in 1966. Serum is now co-developing vaccines for the coronavirus, running clinical trials and manufacturing vaccines developed by other companies. Serum reached major agreements with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and COVAX, the world’s main initiative to ensure fair, equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.It is experiencing high demand for its low-cost, COVID-19 vaccines. |PRI
Biological E – India’s next Serum, Bharat Biotech of COVID-19 vaccine
Biological E Limited is the oldest Indian private vaccine maker. Biological E currently makes eight World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualified vaccines for tetanus, measles and rubella, pentavalent vaccines and snake antivenom, and sells to over 100 countries. It currently has a couple of in-house COVID-19 vaccines under development and another major manufacturing contract agreement for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Biological E will be responsible for all clinical development and regulatory activities for the mRNA vaccine in India and other jurisdictions licensed by Biological E with the latest deal with Providence, the Canadian company will provide necessary technology transfer for Biological E to manufacture mRNA vaccines in India. |Business Today
BioNTech – The company making the World’s most prevalent COVID-19 vaccine
BioNTech, a German company, co-founded by a husband-and-wife team of scientists, Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, developed a COVID-19 vaccine based on a technology involving the genetic material mRNA. BioNTech, based in Mainz, was then a primarily a cancer-vaccine company, and after more than a decade of arduous research and development, the company tested out the mRNA-based cancer vaccines in about 400 people. The results were encouraging and it was then that they began to explore the possibilities of using mRNA-based vaccines to treat infectious diseases. And then, the COVID-19 virus hit. With the success of the COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccine, Sahin and Tureci see the potential of this technology in treating other infectious diseases as well, and are hoping to resume their research that had been interrupted by COVID-19. |TIME
STORIES FROM THE FRONT-LINE
AIIMS Doctor risks life to save COVID-19 patient
Dr. Zahid Abdul Majeed, a senior resident doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) works at the critical care division. Wearing a PPE overall, he was apparently with a patient who was being transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). All of a sudden, he noticed that the intubation pipe had been replaced, which could have been life-threatening to the patient. However, the PPE along with the face cover blurred his vision which made it quite impossible to conduct the complex procedure to reposition the intubation pipe. Dr. Majeed took off his protective gear and re-intubated the patient. This was in the line of his duty, where he risked his own life to save the life of a patient. He was sent for mandatory isolation of fourteen days, as per the standard procedure. His story is the story of hundreds of health workers fighting every single day in India, and across the world. |The Hindu
The harrowing experience of fighting COVID-19 on the front lines
Dr Sriram Sunil, a young doctor, works at a public hospital in Bangalore, India. As an intern medico, which means he’s in his first year, the bulk of the workload has fallen on his shoulders, as the more senior staff are concerned about contracting the virus. According to Dr Sriram Sunil, more than 500 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital, with at least 50 of them in the intensive care in mid-September. The young man checks on his patients and continues to show up for shifts of six hours each with breaks in between. The following week, he quarantines. Even Though, the hospital had enough protective gear, they weren’t quite the right kind because of which he ended up layering scrubs on scrubs to avoid exposure. Sunil is among the army of front-line warriors around the globe who have been showing up to battle the virus. |CNBC
Bihar’s all-women ground force against COVID-19
Bihar witnessed a ravaging second wave of COVID-19 in April, and the state health department had to formulate measures to control the spread of the virus. The plan included 10,000 ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife), backed by some 80,000 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers plus the Anganwadi women. They became the ground force for the Bihar Health Department’s fight against COVID-19. Since the state faced an acute shortage of lab technicians, it was commendable to include ANMs for testing and vaccination. Usha Kumari, a 40-year-old ANM and three other ANMs, Rita, Neha and Vimala, along with Vikash Kumar, a data entry operator have notably worked together to control the virus. Usha reaches the Phulwari Healthcare centre in rural Patna by 9AM. Having planned the previous night Usha knows her team members and what the job at hand is. Usha and her team are just a group among the many frontline warriors in Bihar who take immense efforts to battle the disease that the world has never seen before. |India Today
Where can we get authentic information about Coronavirus?
KARE COVID-19 Response So Far
43038 Cooked meals
2279 Volunteering hours clocked.
10 Tons of Vegetables transacted so far.
28+ Number of Farmers impacted so far.
640 Helpline Calls.
500 Grocery Kits & 500 kg Rice
50+ hours of student mentoring & 8 Gadgets
1400 Liquid sanitizer packs
₹ 4,95,141 Funds Raised.
₹ 6,50,000 Funds Spent.
63000+ Lives Impacted
Chinnavedampatti, Saravanampatty, Vellaikinar, Sathyamangalam, Sulthanpet, Paapampatti, Sulur, Thondamuthur, Narasipuram, Kangayam, Coimbatore & Pollachi.
TO MAKE A DONATION
KARE Bank Account Details
Account name: KCT KARE
Account number: 1245155000078376
Bank: Karur Vysya Bank
Branch: KCT Extension Counter
Bank address: Kumaraguru College of Technology, Chinnavedampatti, Coimbatore – 641036