In an era and time when Big Pharma and big profits rule the roost in the fight against Covid and its variants, an American doctor-scientist has thrown a different light – producing the first non-patented, not-for-profit vaccine for the world. An act of extraordinary compassion and humaneness.
The vaccine, Corbevax, developed by Dr Peter Hotez of the Texas Children’s Hospital, is soon coming to India, as it has just been authorised for emergency use and is being produced by Biological E, a Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer. Mojo Story talks to Dr Hotez on being inspired by Jonas Salk - who developed the Polio vaccine and gave it away to humanity for free - and the potential of Corbevax to finally end inequities in access to global vaccination.
As we gird up to deal with the Omicron variant of Covid, Down To Earth looks back at the year gone by and records that while we had to deal with one of the most ominous forms of the pandemic - the Delta - science and scientists were also able to produce the antidotes in record time. A triumph of science and the human spirit.
In its latest exercise, the Delimitation Commission has given six out of seven new seats to the Jammu division and only one to Kashmir, even though the latter has 16 lakh more residents. Kashmir Observer argues that the narrowed difference in seats would erode the political and psychological centrality of the Valley.
In Kerala, TrueCopy Think focuses on the rapid deterioration of the quality of water in the Periyar river - the lifeline of Kerala, which is perennial and provides potable water to several major towns in the state. The report questions the inaction of the Kerala Pollution Control Board in bringing polluting industries near the river to heel.
And, as we start the new year - Covid’s resurgence, economic uncertainties, China’s muscle-flexing on the borders and simmering internal tensions - unfortunately, frame the context. Swarajya lays out a wish list for the new year, including ‘new politics’ and a ‘truth and reconciliation commission’ for healing communal cleavages in India.
On behalf of the Foundation’s Trustees, and on my own behalf, I wish you a very happy 2022.
For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.