One coronavirus vaccine can protect against other coronaviruses

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New York, Oct 16 | A team of US researchers, including a scientist of Indian-origin, has shown for the first time that Covid-19 vaccines and prior Covid infections can provide broad immunity against other similar coronaviruses.

The findings build a rationale for universal coronavirus vaccines that could prove useful in the face of future epidemics.

“Until our study, what hasn’t been clear is if you get exposed to one coronavirus, could you have cross-protection across other coronaviruses? And we showed that is the case,” said lead author Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, Assistant Professor of Microbiology-Immunology at North-western University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Penaloza-MacMaster collaborated with North-western Medicine physician, Igor Koralnik and Lavanya Visvabharathy, a post-doctoral research associate at Feinberg, to evaluate immune responses in humans who received Covid vaccines as well as in Covid patients.

“We found that these individuals developed antibody responses that neutralised a common cold coronavirus, HCoV-OC43,” Penaloza-MacMaster said.

“We are now measuring how long this cross-protection lasts.”

The three main families of coronaviruses that cause human disease are Sarbecovirus, which includes the SARS-CoV-1 strain that was responsible for the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Other coronaviruses are SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for Covid-19 pandemic; Embecovirus (that includes OC43) which is often responsible for the common cold; and Merbecovirus, which is the virus responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), first reported in 2012.

During the study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, plasma from humans who had been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 produced antibodies that were cross-reactive (provided protection) against SARS-CoV-1 and the common cold coronavirus (OC43).

The study found mice immunised with a SARS-CoV-1 vaccine developed in 2004 generated immune responses that protected them from intranasal exposure by SARS-CoV-2.

The team found prior coronavirus infections can protect against subsequent infections with other coronaviruses.

Mice that had been immunised with Covid-19 vaccines and later were exposed to the common cold coronavirus were partially protected against the common cold but the protection was much less robust, the study found.

The reason, the scientists explained, is because both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 are genetically similar while the common cold coronavirus is more divergent from SARS-CoV-2.

“As long as the coronavirus is greater than 70 per cent related, the mice were protected,” Penaloza-MacMaster said.

“If they were exposed to a very different family of coronaviruses, the vaccines might confer less protection.”

Given how different each coronavirus family is, that answer is “likely no”, said the study authors.

However, there may be a path forward for developing a vaccine for each coronavirus family (Sarbecovirus, Embecovirus and Merbecovirus), they said.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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