PUBLIC AND MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
New A Primer on Corona Virus Vaccines, all your questions answered by Dr. Gagandeep Kang, India’s best vaccine expert


By: Pallava Bagla
Date: August 6, 2020
Location: Faridabad, India

Corona Virus is tormenting & torturing India & the world. Scientists have unleashed a 'world war' on COVID-19 by making many candidate vaccines. India has several experimental molecules, some tested platforms with huge heritage, others like the RNA, DNA, Plasmid, and Vectored vaccine platforms that are literally untested in huge numbers, some genetically-modified candidates. Which one should you put the bets on? Dr. Gagandeep Kang, India's Vaccine Guru, the only one to have spearheaded making an indigenous vaccine candidly explains the biology, regulatory, human challenge, genetic engineering, and disease control strategies of these 20 plus candidate vaccines in a 60-minute primer for lay-persons on corona vaccines like never before to Pallava Bagla on August 6, 2020. She feels a vaccine will come. 'Corona harega, desh Jeetega'.

English

Hindi


Prof. Gagandeep Kang talks about what is new post-lockdown - Vaccines and Antibodies."Because what appears right today might actually be wrong tomorrow".

Find the complete webinar here.

How do geopolitics affect vaccines development and distribution? Funding and distribution methods remain critical as the world waits for the COVID-19 vaccine. Listen here to Prof. Gagandeep Kang, Umang Vohra (Cipla Ltd.) and David E. Bloom (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health) as to how global alliances are aiding these processes. The webinar "Science, Business and Vaccine Development" was organized by the India Research Center, Harvard Business School; The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asian Institute, Harvard University and moderated by Tarun Khanna (The Mittal Institute, Harvard University).

COVID-19 myths busted (Part 1) By Dr. Gagandeep Kang: A Resource for everyone

Will your doggo give you SARS-CoV2? Will the flu vaccine prevent COVID-19? Taking a hot bath will prevent infection. Dr. Gagandeep Kang responds to and busts some COVID-19 myths. We put together her conversation with little Ritu worried for her mother who keeps getting misinformed because of Fake News circulating through WhatsApp. The conversation is made into a comic available in

Illustrations: Yashika Kapoor

Translations: Dr. Tarun Kumar Sharma and Dr. Siuli Mitra (Hindi); Dr. Lovejeet Kaur (Punjabi)

In the wake of the pandemic, communicating timely, accurately and sensitively was identified to be of paramount significance quite early on. THSTI's communications strategy for COVID19 was built around these principles and efforts were made to ensure the measures being taken by the Government of India are communicated widely.


COVID-19 Ask the Experts webinar series

With the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, we are also witnessing an 'infodemic' - spread of misinformation and fear. In such times, the role of journalists, media professionals, community reporters and science and health communicators are of immense importance. THSTI has partnered with DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, IAVI and Nature India to bring together a series of webinars where experts answer questions about COVID-19. The webinar provides an opportunity for media professionals and those seeking credible information on the pandemic to interact with experts to better understand COVID-19’s science and public health impacts, as well as best practices and tools of fact-checking and reporting.
The areas that we have taken up range from vaccines to virology to ethics of reporting, accurate messaging and communication without stigmatizing. Tomorrow we talk about urban and rural perspectives on impact of the pandemic on those living in the fringes of healthcare.

Booklet of quotes by public health expert Dr. Gagandeep Kang

What do we know about the different vaccines being made for COVID-19? Does BCG work?
How does drug repurposing work and is it the way to go to have an early cure for COVID-19?
How should people with limited/no water wash hands regularly to prevent infectious diseases?
Dr. Gagandeep Kang was a panelist on three of the webinars in the series and addressed questions about SARS-CoV2, its pathogenicity, COVID-19, vaccine development, drug repositioning and public health response to the pandemic among other questions. We put together some of the key takeaways from the webinar here.
Designed by: Ankita Rathore

Here are the details and YouTube links to the previous webinars.

Part I

24 March, 2020

Gagandeep Kang, Director, THSTI, Faridabad and Shahid Jameel, CEO, DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance were on board as our experts to bust myths on the new coronavirus and share latest scientific and health-related information on COVID-19. The first webinar was also shared with India Science for wider outreach.


Part II

28 March, 2020

Shahid Jameel and Anant Bhan, Bioethics and Global Health expert, answered questions on virology and bioethics.


Part III

4 April, 2020

Gagandeep Kang and Gautam Menon, Professor of Physics and Biology, Ashoka University, Sonipat, answered questions on virology, COVID-19 prediction models, vaccine R&D, research opportunities and bioethics.


Part IV : Role of Language in a Pandemic

17 April, 2020

Soumitra Pathare, Ida Jooste and Padma Priya DVL discussed the role of language during a pandemic.


Part V : Impact of COVID-19 on those on the fringes of healthcare

25 April, 2020

Yogesh Kalkonde, Gautam Bhan, and Divya Varma discussed the Impact of COVID-19 on those on the fringes of healthcare by getting perspectives gained through their work on rural health, social protection and vulnerabilities of migrant workers respectively.


Part VI : Research progress and future course of COVID-19: Revisiting basics

1 May, 2020

Gagandeep Kang, Shahid Jameel, and Jacob John discussed the progress made in COVID-19 research in India and globally, and the future course of the pandemic.


Part VII : Building bridges: Engaging communities during the pandemic and beyond

20 May, 2020

Prashanth NS, Meena S Seshu, Yvette Raphael, and Vivek Anand discussed how to build bridges with and engage communities during and after the pandemic.


Part VIII: Dealing with the Unknown: Mental health challenges during COVID-19

8 June, 2020

Vikram Patel, Lakshmi Ravikanth, Shyam Bhatt and Sumi Jain talk about mental health challenges during these times of uncertainty, provide solutions on how to cope with it, and bring in examples of how different agencies (government and non-government) are working with communities from different states of India to help them face mental health challenges.


Read here stories from the webinar:

On war metaphors, communicating uncertainty, avoiding stigmatizing language during COVID-19

Human behaviour biggest uncertainty for coronavirus models

Young population, chloroquine use no shield for India, Africa against coronavirus

Stigma, distancing in slums may impede India’s coronavirus fight

Coronavirus: From conspiracy theories to community transmission, two Indian experts answer questions (Gagandeep Kang and Shahid Jameel)

Prof. Gagandeep Kang was also a speaker at the 2nd webinar of COVID19 Preparedness – National Cancer Grid Initiative along with Dr. Randeep Guleria, Daniel Vanderende and others and again in the 4th webinar along with Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Dr. Shruti Tandon, and Dr. Soumitra Pathare.


Watch other webinars and videos here

INFODEMIC as bad as a Pandemic: Dr. Kang's interview by Pallava Bagla.

Andrew Revkin Chats with Gagandeep Kang and Priyanka Pulla about the coronavirus crisis, solutions and lessons in India.

Dr. Gagandeep Kang spoke in the webinar Tackling the challenges of conducting COVID-19 research ethically in lower-income settings


Podcasts

The quest for vaccines (with Gagandeep Kang)

Podcast by Indian Express: Sandip Roy interviews Gagandeep Kang

Listen to the latest podcast by Bangalore International Centre, The Search for a Cure (with Dr. Gagandeep Kang) where Dr. Gagandeep Kang breaks down the challenges of developing antivirals in her interview with Pavan Srinath.


Read what our people have been writing about SARS-CoV2, COVID-19, the lockdown, busting myths and for the Game of Thrones fans, an interesting insight.

The Musings of a Corona warrior - Ramachandran Thiruvengadam

Is COVID-19 a biological weapon and can neem or hot bath prevent it? Fact-checking 24 claims

https://hindi.theprint.in/opinion/new-virus-coronavirus-in-the-time-of-viral-content-on-social-media/123916/ - Hindi

Disease trends, data that emerges at end of lockdown will shape future policy decisions (Amrita Sekhar on ‘Why the lockdown?’)

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/coronavirus-lockdown-narendra-modi-covid-19-vaccine-deaths-healthcare-workers-6342695/

Did winter come for us with COVID-19? (Sweety Samal)


Continuous, consistent and transparent communication is what has been our communications strategy during this pandemic. Read some more stories (available in English, Hindi and other regional languages) written due to our engagement with media to find out take on vaccines, testing, drugs and other aspects.

Ask an Expert: Dr. Gagandeep Kang on India’s capability to tackle pandemics, COVID-19 cure and more

Battle against coronavirus: Gagandeep Kang reveals where India stands in the fight against COVID-19

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/pharmaceuticals/novel-coronavirus-the-hunt-for-a-virus-killer/articleshow/74152950.cms

https://www.natureasia.com/en/nindia/article/10.1038/nindia.2020.44?fbclid=IwAR1yCM8sQHq08wXle79xhTcsKO1A40tK0Mc16fg76DoTvHAjkZMjofgMYHs

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/coronavirus-testing-is-the-easiest-thing-to-do-gagandeep-kang/article31075741.ece

Can’t jump to BCG revaccination in India without trial results.

The vaccine was rapidly synthesized as novel coronavirus sequence was available: Gagandeep Kang

The public-private healthcare gap in the fight against COVID-19

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/two-indian-companies-in-race-for-vaccine-against-covid-19/article31025613.ece?homepage=true

Indians don't need to panic yet about coronavirus, says leading researcher

https://www.ntnews.com/national/indians-don-t-need-to-panic-yet-about-coronavirus-says-scientist-gagandeep-kang-14967 - Telugu

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/coronavirus-in-india-80-patients-will-recover-on-their-own-claim-scientists-11583406991554.html

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/indians-dont-need-to-panic-yet-about-coronavirus-says-leading-researcher/1752636

https://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/india/indians-are-not-afraid-of-coronavirus-we-are-winning-war-aganist-this-virus-says-indian-researchers-gagandeep-kang/articleshow/74498092.cms - Hindi

http://english.varthabharati.in/india/indians-dont-need-to-panic-yet-about-coronavirus-says-leading-researcher

https://www.jagran.com/news/national-indians-dont-need-to-panic-yet-about-coronavirus-says-leading-researcher-20087570.html - Hindi

As COVID19 spreads, other countries can learn from China.

Preparedness, not panic, should be the first line of defence.

Alternative treatments must conform to rigorous tests: THSTI Director Gagandeep Kang

Tiny fraction of vaccine candidates succeed, more efforts need to be made: Dr. Gagandeep Kang on coronavirus

Tapping on the reach that social media has we initiated a hashtag #AskGagandeep on Twitter inviting people to ask questions about COVID19, Gagandeep Kang responded to questions from followers of THSTI’s twitter account.

Our human resource is our backbone. Before the pandemic spread out in India, the challenges upcoming in the near future were foreseen and awareness sessions were organized to sensitize staff and students where Dr. Gagandeep Kang (Executive Director) spoke with them and answered their queries. Staff included Administration, Technical and housekeeping.


Guidelines have been uploaded on the website for THSTI staff https://thsti.res.in/covid_resources.php