India Coronavirus Dispatch: Rural survey finds no takers for paid vaccines

The survey, carried out by Gaon Connection, a rural media platform, found that less than half (44%) of the respondents from rural households were willing to pay for vaccination
Little to no appetite for paid vaccines: Rural survey

As the government, medical authorities and researchers scramble to launch a vaccine, here are findings from a survey called ‘Covid-19 Vaccine and Rural India’ that gauged appetite for paid vaccines in India.

The survey, carried out by Gaon Connection, a rural media platform, found that less than half (44%) of the respondents from rural households were willing to pay for vaccination against Covid-19. 36% of the respondents said they would not pay for it. The survey was conducted across 60 districts in 16 States and one Union Territory with a sample size of 6,040 households. The interviews were done face-to-face, the writer of the article says. Read more here

Determining the efficacy of vaccines will take time — ICMR medical journal

Rajesh Bhatia, former director, communicable diseases, WHO (South-east Asia), explains how it may take months before the efficacy of vaccines is determined, in an editorial in the IJMR, a publication of the country’s apex medical research body Indian Council of Medical Research. 

While vaccines for Covid-19 are likely to be available soon, it may take several months to establish the safety, the ability to trigger an immune response, and efficacy criteria, the writer of the article says citing the editorial. 

Unprecedented and globally coordinated research and efforts are likely to result in the availability of some vaccines in the next few months. However, it may take several months before global demand, as well as safety, the ability to trigger an immune response, and efficacy criteria, are fully met, the writer says. Read more here

The woes of India’s food delivery workers

The lockdown imposed in March took the general public by surprise and several sections of society were reeling from it for months. Among them were delivery persons working for food delivery major Swiggy. 

While most of us stayed home, Swiggy delivery persons fetched our food and groceries. They were called "frontline workers" and “heroes”, the writer of the article says. However, there were layoffs and pay cuts. The company was also gradually replacing human managers with algorithms. The company sold some of the moves as a response to Covid-19. But, at least some of the actions were planned and set in motion well before the pandemic, the writer says citing former and current Swiggy workers

According to company messages seen by the writer, Swiggy cut the “base pay”, or the minimum delivery fee per order, of riders to Rs 15, down by 57 per cent, and put in place other pay cuts. This compares to Rs 40,000 or more a month two years if they worked enough hours. Today, in an average month, delivery persons make around Rs 20,000, the writer says citing the delivery persons. Read more here

Fresh look how the coronavirus spike protein attaches itself to surfaces

A study published in the journal Advanced Nano-Biomed Research tries to shed new light on how viruses attach themselves to surfaces. 

Airborne droplets are the main transmission route for the novel coronavirus. But respiratory viruses can be transmitted not only via the air but also through contact with contaminated objects, the writer of the article says. The researchers examined the proteins that make up the outermost layer of the virus. And the outermost point is the spike protein, the coronavirus’s key tool in infecting the human cell. Virus adsorption on non-living surfaces most likely involves the spike protein, the writer says citing the findings. Read more here

Seasonal UV radiation and Covid-19 trends

A study published in the journal PNAS has found evidence to show that higher natural UV radiation reduces Covid-19 transmission to an extent. 

The caveat is that seasonal changes in UV are just one variable that affects infection rates. The influence of UV is modest compared to policy measures such as travel restrictions, the writer of the article says citing the study. Read more here


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