K Srinath Reddy

Articles By K Srinath Reddy

35 Articles

No ‘shot-cut’ out of the pandemic

Rich nations’ vaccine nationalism—the third (booster) dose proposals are one example—complicates the response to the pandemic

They will then have to go for even more booster shots. The only winners will be the virus and the vaccine companies.

Will ‘Merkel mix’ set a trend of Covid-19 vaccine cocktails?

Need to probe safety and efficacy of mixing Covid shots that use different platforms, in the light of possible immunity blow to efficacy of the second dose of the same vax


Covid-19 vaccine: Time to test Covishield-Covaxin mix for immune response against D variant

Perhaps it is time for our scientists to test whether a mix of Covishield and Covaxin will increase the chances of a more effective immune response against the D variant

As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Government of India has been supporting the states and UTs by providing them COVID-19 vaccines free of cost.

Reading Vaccine Findings Right: Covid vaccines get a reality check

Both the UK and the double-mutant variants seem to be subdued by the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, but the hardier double-mutant is less responsive

Taken together, the PHE studies reveal that while both variants appear to be subdued by the vaccines, the hardier B.1.617.2 variant is less responsive to both vaccines than B1.1.1.7 and that a single dose of AstraZeneca does not offer sufficient protection against B1.617.2.

Combination numbers to open Covid lockdown

The growth rate of weekly average of the number of positive cases, Covid diagnosed/suspected deaths and hospital admissions need to inform unlock decisions

At the time of testing, the health workers can conveniently add water to the solution to make it hydrated and available for immediate use.

Patents must not impede pandemic response

Patents restrict access to essential technologies and constrict the ability of many countries to provide early and affordable services needed for an effective and equitable response

That argument flounders when we consider that India, one of the two proponents of the proposal to WTO, supplies over 60% of the vaccines for the universal immunisation programmes for women and children.

Covid-19: Fight the war, don’t battle waves

We must not let ourselves get trapped in a see-saw of lockdowns and laxity. Need to ensure testing, tracing and masking/distancing

Symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 (a long list by now) should also be used for early case detection by primary healthcare teams visiting homes and also for promoting awareness to stimulate voluntary isolation and self-referral for testing.

Vaccine efficacy claims have confidence limits

It is necessary to report the 95% confidence intervals around both the overall vaccine trial result and for the values being reported for any subgroup of interest

Their confidence is being tested by the mutants that have entered the extended family of SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

Budget 2021: A broader head for healthcare

Union Budget 2021 India: Laboratory capacity will be expanded and One Health surveillance connectivity will be established across wildlife, veterinary and human populations.

Her proposition resonates with the SDG3 which calls for "health and wellbeing for all, at all ages." Combining them helps to present a 137% increase, which appears impressive.

Budget 2021 expectations: Budget must provide a booster shot for health

Union Budget 2021 Expectations for health sector: Increased spending on primary care will reflect the twin priorities of an effective pandemic response and building a stronger health system for the long term

The recommendation of the National Health Policy 2017, for creation of such cadres, will be earnestly implemented only when catalysed through centrally financed mechanisms and guidelines.

Covid-19: Will the promise of vaccines match the promos?

‘Science by press release’ may be good for value of developers’ stocks, but regulatory approvals & public-health use require rigorously gathered, honestly reported data

The different levels of protection observed in the two limbs of the trial involved an unplanned deviation from the original protocol and cannot be combined into a single point estimate of 70% efficacy.

When must politicians listen to scientists?

The purpose of scientific research in public health is to provide evidence-informed, context-relevant, resource optimising, culturally compatible and equity promoting recommendations

Pandemics like Covid-19 highlight the importance of both, science and public policy, rising above the mire of dogma, prejudice and sectarian interests that entrap political decision making in many spheres.

Depending on big hospitals to provide most of Post-Covid care is setting ourselves up for failure

Depending on big hospitals to provide most of Post-COvid care is setting ourselves up for failure. Community-based facilities, in or near PHcs, would be more accessible

We cannot foresee how long the threat of Covid-19 will loom large over our health system and society.

Covid-19 outbreak and the RAT rage

The Year of the Rat is now seeing a rise in rapid antigen testing (RAT) for Covid-19.

Whether testing should be so selectively used may be debated, since extensive testing has been adopted as the lodestar of the Covid-19 control strategies by many countries including India, with on-demand testing now permitted even for asymptomatic persons.

Covid-19 bowls a re-infection googly

We have to maintain vigilance against the first bout of Covid-19 infection and draw assurance from the fact that our immune system cAn deal with reinfections

When the virus enters the body, the immune response that is most evident and often studied is the systemic response of circulating antibodies and cellular immunity.

Covid vaccine race: Unfazed claims on ‘un-phased’ trials? 

Commercial interests too play a very strong role since there is much money to be made for the industry, though the foundational science is public-funded.

‘Vaccine Nationalism’ seems to be propelling fast-track Covid-19 vaccine trials, untested claims of efficacy and safety.

Covid-19: Making sense of the sero-survey

The true prevalence rates are most likely to be lower than the rates reported, because of the inflation of false positives on mass screening.

Why using Covid-19 antigen test sensibly is important

With a multiplicity of tests, a problem will arise with the reporting and interpretation of total testing numbers.

This makes the antigen test seem an attractive option as we ramp up testing.

Comparing countries on Covid-19 deaths

We need a slew of public health measures to contain Covid-19 and keep the total deaths in our population low even as the count of cases rises

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Coronavirus pandemic: Covid, critics and contradictions

India should move ahead with the undeterred resolve of adopting context-defined and regionally-differentiated strategies, undistracted by critics

It is also ironical that both who say that India is at high risk and those who opine that we are at low risk, fault us for ‘low testing rates’.

Clues to crack the COVID-19 puzzle

However, these measures tell us how well a test behaves in a group of persons, not particularly about the individual being tested.

The gold standard can be a technically more advanced test, a clinical construct of several features, or even the pathological findings at autopsy.

Reading the Covid-19 numbers right

Talking about doubling-time between given periods without taking into account whether the underlying testing/case identification factors are comparable or not, or comparing case fatality ratios of countries without age-standa

Budget 2020: Health moves to private fast track

Budget 2020-21: Just as Anganwadi workers will be equipped with smartphones, frontline health workers too must be technology enabled to make primary healthcare more accessible, efficient and less doctor dependant

Budget 2020 India, Budget 2020-21

Guiding nutrition through thick and thin

Those who studied ‘undernutrition’ saw underweight, wasted or stunted children, or thin and anaemic adults as deficient in calories and essential nutrients.

Sound law: Defining a right to health

Madhya Pradesh will focus on access to clean water, nutrition, & other factors impacting health, apart from access to healthcare. Other states should emulate it

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Ailing healthcare system needs more healing hands

The fault lines of the Indian healthcare system, especially those of our understaffed and under-skilled health workforce, are in urgent need of repair

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Falling maternal mortality: Mothered by primary care & public financing

Two messages come through from the Indian experience: First, strong primary health care is essential to achieve the maximum impact. Second, public financing is vital for infrastructure development, health workforce skilling,

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