The Covid-19 disease is caused by a strain of positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, also known as SARS-CoV-2. It is responsible for the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic which has killed over 38 lakh people since it was first detected in December, 2019.
Vaccines are critical in the fight against Covid-19, along with safety measures such as proper hand and face hygiene, the use of face masks and social distancing.
Some of the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization as of June 2021 are as follows: AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BionTech, Sinopharm, Sinovac.
Covaxin, India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.
The AstraZeneca Vaccine is being produced in India as Covishield. The Russian vaccine Sputnik V has also been approved for use in India amid the second wave of the pandemic.
The Covid-19 vaccines are safe for people above 18 years and older, including senior citizens and people with pre-existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes and asthma. As of now, Covid-19 vaccine trials for children have begun in the USA, Singapore, Japan, and parts of Europe. China has approved Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines for children as young as 3-years and above. In India too, clinical trials for children have begun at AIIMS, Delhi.
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