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Booster dose of six vaccines for strong immune response?

The new variant – Omicron has given a jolt to all globally since the world had just started to open up and economies showing a positive trend.

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New Variant
Source: @Business Standard

The new variant – Omicron has given a jolt to all globally since the world had just started to open up and economies showing a positive trend. But with 21 confirmed cases in India, there is a need to safeguard ourselves and understand that the pandemic is far from over.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant increased five times overnight as nine people in Rajasthan, seven in Pune and one in Delhi tested positive for the new strain on Sunday. The total count stood at 21. Delhi’s first patient infected with the Omicron variant is a 33-year-old male who returned from Tanzania recently. He is fully vaccinated and is at present undergoing treatment at the Capital’s Lok Nayak Hospital.

Among the nine cases confirmed in Jaipur, health officials are concerned about a surge in infections within a cluster of people associated with a four-member family from South Africa. The family had attended a wedding in Jaipur on November 28, 2021.

In the Pune Metropolitan Region, a woman of Indian origin from Nigeria and her two daughters and their three contacts tested positive for Omicron. Another man who had travelled to Pune from Finland via Mumbai also tested positive for the variant.

Amid questions about whether the Omicron variant may cause milder illness compared to the previous strains, evidence from initial cases is limited. However, among 70 cases reported in Europe that provided information on disease severity, half of the patients were asymptomatic and half had mild symptoms, reported the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

No cases of severe disease were reported and there were no hospitalisations or deaths. The European agency, however, said that data on hundreds of cases will be needed to accurately assess the complications, and it could take weeks. Most cases reported in Europe have been in younger people thus far, who were fully vaccinated, and therefore, less likely to develop severe disease.

This means that there is an urgent need for everyone to get vaccinated. A total of 127.93 crore doses have been administered across the country till Sunday, with over 85% of the 18-plus population covered with at least one dose. This is a positive move.

But there was a case on December 3, 2021, where an Italian man tried to avoid the vaccine. He wore a fake arm. Remember that vaccination is for our good. There have been enough studies that show there are mild symptoms for those who are double jabbed.

Results of the COV-BOOST multicenter phase II trial show that the booster dose of six vaccines generated a strong immune response in persons who had completed their primary vaccination with either the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The vaccines studied included Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Novavax, Janssen, Moderna, Valneva and Curevac. The side effects of all vaccines were minor.

For the trial, 2878 participants were enrolled in the month of June; they had received two doses of either Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca (first dose in December 2020, January 2021 or February 2021). The study was conducted at 18 sites in the UK.

“Participants had received their first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in December 2020, or January, or February, and second doses at least 70 days (for Oxford–AstraZeneca) or 84 days (for Pfizer-BioNTech)” before study entry. Anti-spike protein IgG generated was evaluated at 28 days.

In persons who had taken the Oxford vaccine as their primary vaccination, the mean anti-spike protein antibody (IgG) after 28 days ranged from 1.8 times in the half Valneva group to 32.3 higher in the m1273 group. After two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the booster dose increased the spike IgG (mean) from 1.3 times in the half Valneva group to 11.5 times in the m1273 group.

“GMRs for wild-type cellular responses compared with controls ranged from 1.0 for half VLA to 4.7 for m1273 vaccine”. The response to booster doses was comparable between the participants aged 30–69 years and those aged 70 years and older. The most common reported side effects after booster dose were injection site pain, muscle soreness and fatigue.

This trial has demonstrated the effectiveness of all vaccines tested in boosting immunity following initial immunization with Oxford-Astra and Pfizer vaccines. All the booster vaccines studied were found to increase the immune response 28 days after initial vaccination with both Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses. After the two Pfizer vaccine doses, all vaccines except Valneva boosted the immune response. All vaccines were found safe to be used.

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5 Tips to Motivate Students For Ongoing Board Exams

Exams are one of the important milestones in a student’s life. Students need motivation for board exams to pump their confidence and vanish exam fear.

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motivation for board exam
Source: India.com

Lakhs of students are appearing for class X and XII Board exams in India every year. These exams are one of the most important milestones in a student’s academic life. Along with this students needs motivation for board exams to pump their confidence and vanish the exam fear. This is why the stress caused during these exams is best addressed than avoided.

The urge to pass these exams with a good percentage can sometimes impact the mental health of the students. They might end up worrying about the exam when they should be focusing all their efforts on revisions.

Exam stress can reduce their self-confidence levels, leading to poor performance and outcomes. Hence, it is very crucial for teachers to boost the morale of the students.

Here is what a teacher has come up with some key tips to motivate the  students right before exams:

Understand Students’ Interests

It is a good practice for teachers to know the strengths and weaknesses of the students. Teachers can know their students better by conducting unique sessions centred around “get to know you” discussions. These kinds of sessions can be held on a monthly basis. Activities like clubbing students with similar interests into groups, and assigning writing or speaking tasks can help in increasing students’ enthusiasm for the subject.

Important To Give Feedback

One-to-one mentoring can be of great help for students to gear up before the exams. This can be an opportunity for the students to clarify all their individual doubts and understand the concepts better. They could also open up about the challenges in studies during these interactions. By providing personalised feedback, teachers can better understand each student’s capability. However, the onus remains on the teachers to encourage the young learners to speak during personal mentoring sessions.

Encourage Collaboration and Competition

Be in touch with students. Teachers should encourage the idea of collaboration and competition by pairing up students. They should be encouraged to justify their ideas or articulate an answer while working in pairs. This fosters peer correction and effective analysis of their own progression. Teachers can promote teamwork and this will help the students to learn from each other. Such activities will also expose them to a diverse set of ideas.

Schedule Regular Breaks

Exhaustion remains one of the biggest reasons for students’ demotivation right before any exam. The ability to think rationally is impaired on a greater scale when a person is tired and studies for long hours without taking timely breaks. It is advisable to have regular breaks during study sessions to strike the right balance between studies and recreation. Hence, teachers should help students prepare study timetables which have regular intervals in between.

Exercise a Little

Stress can be a major contributor to underperformance during exams. It is a proven fact that regular exercise keeps both the mind and body healthy. Practising simpler exercises like meditation or yoga can make the students’ mind feel more relaxed. This will help them to stay composed and concentrate better.

Keeping students’ motivation for board exam peaked during Board exams is of utmost paramount. It is easy to motivate them if they have achievable goals, take regular breaks, revise concepts in advance and perform exercises.

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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