Thursday, May 6, 2021

Are vaccines enough to protect us from COVID-19? Swiss cheese model explanation

Contributed by Dr. Ashok Tamhankar & Dr. Nishtha Khatri

Most of us are relying on vaccines for a complete protection against COVID-19. However, scientists say that jabs are not a sufficient enough measure to protect us from COVID-19. As per the Swiss cheese model, there is no single measure that can provide a 100 % protection. As shown in the diagram below, each layer represents a protection but every layer has certain holes or deficits which can allow the infection to enter. Hence, the protection will be maximal only if there are several layers of protection, i.e. social distancing, masking, hand sanitisation, contact tracing along with vaccination.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Impact of COVID-19 on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Contributed by: Dr. Tamhankar & Dr. Nishtha 

The global blaze created by COVID-19 has led to an increase in the consumption of antibiotics. Although there has been a growth in the antimicrobial stewardship activities as compared to the past, we definitely need to lay focus on infection prevention and control measures, with special emphasis on reduction in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Further research and studies need to be conducted to evaluate the evolution of AMR during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be of utmost significance in developing countries that lack resistance pattern data and bear the additional burden of suboptimal treatment resources.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Current status of COVID-19 vaccines in India

Contributed by: Dr. Ashok Tamhankar & Dr. Nishtha Khatri

Currently two vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization in India: Oxford/AZ- ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, marketed as COVISHIELD and Bharat Biotech (BBV152) marketed as Covaxin. The COVID-19 vaccination drive in India began on January 16th, 2021, with the initial beneficiaries consisting of Healthcare workers followed by frontline workers. On 1st March, the vaccination drive was further extended to senior citizens. 
In the last few days several controversies arose in relation to the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine . Now it seems that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s rollercoaster ride of a week might be coming to a welcome end. As per the company's announcement, a key phase III clinical trial 
found the vaccine to be 76% effective at preventing COVID-19. This announcement was made on 25th March, two days after the company was accused of misrepresenting interim results that reported a slightly higher efficacy figure of 79%. Scientists hope the controversy will not cause lasting damage to the vaccine’s reputation. “Overall, it’s a win for the world,” says vaccine scientist Ann Falsey, an investigator on the trial who co-developed its protocol. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Digital Uppsala Health Summit

Contributed by:  Dr. Tamhankar & Dr. Nishtha Khatri

The Digital Uppsala Health Summit is scheduled to take place from 15-18th March 2021. This year's theme revolves around "Managing Antimicrobial Resistance through Behaviour Change". The summit will have discussion focusing on improving knowledge and changing behaviours pertaining to antibiotic resistance at global as well as national levels. This is a good platform to share knowledge from research and innovations which can help develop new alliances for improved policies and practices.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Online Discussion on 4th March 2021 from 17:00-19:00 (IST)

WHO cancer Centre for LMIC, Mumbai and Indian Initiative for Management of Antibiotic Resistance, India 
Online Discussion on 4th March 2021 from 17:00-19:00 (IST) 


Theme: Drugs, Antimicrobial Resistance and allied 


Moderators: Dr. Ashok Tamhankar and Dr. Nishtha Khatri



1.Challenges of One Health Antibiotic Stewardship in rural community settings

Presentation: 17:00 – 17:40 & and Q&A: 17:40 – 18:00
Speaker: Dr. Meenakshi Gautham
London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine
DiscussantsDr. Vishal Diwan: Scientist at ICMR- National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH) & Dr. KV Arulalan: Primary care pediatrician, chief consultant, A A Childcare, Vellore; Former President, IMA, Vellore

2. Bacteriophage therapy as an alternative therapeutic strategy for MRSA infections

Presentation: 18:00 – 18:30; and Q&A: 18:30 – 19:00
SpeakerDr. Archana L., PhD scholar, Antibiotic Resistance and Phage Therapy Lab, VIT, Vellore
Discussants: Dr. Geetu Bhandoria: Gyne-Oncologist and Obstetrician, Command Hospital, Kolkata and  Member, Junior Editorial Board, International Journal of Gyn Cancer & Dr. Bhakti Sarang,  Consultant WHOCC for research in surgical care delivery in LMICs, Mumbai & Associate Professor, Surgery, Terna Medical College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai