Bathinda : Under the aegis of the Indian Immunology Society (IIS), the Department of Biochemistry at Central University of Punjab celebrated “International Day of Immunology” by organizing a special programme featuring a lecture-series, a “talk your view” session, poster making and quiz competitions on the focal theme “Immunity and Vaccine” on April 29, 2022. On this occasion, faculty and students from Meritorious School, Bathinda, visited the CUPB campus to attend this programme.
At the outset, Dr. Manju Jain, the programme convener, welcomed the participants. She stated that the objective of International Immunology Day celebrations is to raise public awareness about the capabilities of the immune system in health and disease. She delivered an introductory talk on “Our Immune Arsenal: How it looks and works” to develop a basic understanding of the subject. She discussed different components of the immune system in terms of innate and adaptive immunity, where and how different immune cells develop in the body, how they work and sense different danger signals from outside. She concluded by emphasizing the importance of basic immunological concepts in driving research studies related to different infectious diseases like SARS Cov2 mediated Covid.
The second lecture of the programme was delivered by Dr. Ayan Day, Vaccine Scientist, Zydus Group, on the topic “Vaccine Development: Immunological Perspective”. He stated that the process of vaccine manufacturing requires several years as it has to undergo various stages such as discovery, pre-clinical, Phase-I safety, Phase-II safety, Phase III – Efficacy, and Commercial Production. He emphasized that different types of infections may necessitate different vaccines.
In the third lecture, Dr. Kamal Kant, MD, Microbiology, AIIMS, Bathinda, talked about the ongoing vaccine fight with SARS-CoV2. He mentioned that India is currently using four different kinds of vaccines, i.e. Covishied, Covaxin, Sputnik V, and Corbevax. He stated that, despite the slow vaccination response of the Indian population, the GoI has administered 186 crore vaccine doses to date, with 85 percent of the population fully vaccinated. He asserted that the current challenge for the scientific community is to counter further mutations of the COVID virus and combat the upcoming fourth wave.
After this, Dr. Rubal Kanozia from the CUPB Dept. of Mass Communication and Media Studies delivered the fourth talk on the topic “Vaccine Hesitancy: Misinformation and Disinformation.” He shared that the conspiracy theories related to COVID vaccines and other mis/disinformation statements such as: vaccines will alter our DNA, it will make us infertile, I am healthy enough and have no need for vaccines, etc., have contributed towards vaccine hesitancy among people of India and abroad. He urged youngsters to always get health-related information from credible sources such as WHO, MoHFW, ICMR, etc. and never believe in unscientific claims. He demonstrated the usability of Google Reverse Image Search and InVid tools to debunk fake news.
On this occasion, students showcase their talent in oratory competitions, poster making competitions, and quiz competitions. Miss Kriti and Miss Yogita stood as winners in the Talk Your View session for their outstanding performance, Mr. Arshpreet Singh, Miss. Sanveer Kaur, and Miss Jaspinderjeet Kaur were awarded for their outstanding performance in the poster making competition. In the quiz competition, Ist place was taken by the team of Miss Priya Rani, Miss Hapreet Kaur, Miss Handeep Kaur, and Miss Priyanka Dholpuria, and the runner-up team included Miss Bhawna, Miss Gajalpreet, Miss Manisha, and Miss Hemlata. The students showed much zeal and curiosity in all the activities.