30 million frontline workers to get Covid vaccine in first phase

India is looking at vaccinating about 30 million people, including healthcare specialists, who are on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the first phase once protection against the viral disease becomes available, Union health ministry officials said.

The 30 million include 7 million doctors and paramedics, in addition to 20 million other frontline health workers, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on the sidelines of a Covid-19 media briefing.

A 14-year-old Indian-American teen from Texas has been awarded the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, regarded as the US’ premier middle school science competition, and a $25,000 prize for her research that could provide a potential therapy to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Anika Chebrolu, an eighth grader from Texas’s Frisco, has developed a molecule that can bind to a certain protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and prevent it from functioning. As per the 3M Challenge website, Anika Chebrolu’s invention uses in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the deadly virus in an attempt to find a cure for the pandemic.

The British government will be investing to start a “human challenge” in which researchers will infect young and healthy volunteers with Covid-19 to fastrack the coronavirus vaccine research. The AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine, which had suffered a setback with the illness of volunteer, may again resume trials in the US after over a month of wait.

The health ministry in India has meanwhile identified 3 crore healthcare workers who will be vaccinated in the first round. This includes around 70 lakh doctors and other essential worker