A healthcare worker gives a dose of the COVISHIELD vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), manufactured by Serum Institute of India, to a farmer in his field, during a door-to-door vaccination drive in Banaskantha district in the western state of Gujarat. (Representative image: Reuters)
More than 65.86 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on October 11, taking the total number of jabs to over 95.89 crore, the Union Health Ministry said.
On the 269th day of the vaccination drive, 33.63 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 32.22 lakh their second dose.
After a slow start, India's vaccination drive picked up over the last few weeks. It took the country 85 days to give the first 10 crore doses, the next 10 crore took 45 days and, in another 29 days, India touched the 30-crore mark.
The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 days to cross 50-crore doses on August 6. By September 13, 75 crore COVID-19 vaccines had been given. The biggest jump, however, came on September 17, when more than 2.1 crore doses were given in a day.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin remains unchanged at four weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, with healthcare workers at the frontline of India’s Covid-19 battle getting their first jabs. The next phase of vaccination commenced on March 1 for people over 60 years and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. From April 1, the drive was expanded to include all aged 45 and above.
The government then decided to expand the vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.
Let’s check out some major developments related to the vaccination:
– About 25 lakh people in Telangana have not taken the second dose of their Covid-19 vaccine even after the due date and they should take the shot without delay, a health official said on October 11. State Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao, who stressed on strictly following Covid-appropriate behaviour during the ongoing festive season to prevent a rise in cases, said about 72 percent of the eligible population in the state have received at least one dose.
– PM Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson spoke over phone on the day during which they took stock of India-UK trade and defence talks, opening up of international travel between the two countries and climate action targets in the lead up to the COP26 summit, Downing Street said. The UK’s recognition of the ‘Indian vaccine certification’ was among the welcome developments highlighted on both sides, as Covishield-vaccinated Indians travelling to the UK will no longer be required to undergo a compulsory 10-day quarantine at a declared address.
– Over 22.5 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Raigad district in Maharashtra, with 16.14 lakh people getting the first dose and 6.47 lakh now being fully vaccinated, an official said. A mega inoculation drive is underway in the district, which has a population of 29.83 lakh, from October 8 and the aim was cover the remaining beneficiaries by October 14, he said.
– More than 96.75 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been provided to states and Union Territories so far, the Union Health Ministry said on the day. Over 8.43 crore balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered, it said.
Here is the vaccination count for states/UTs
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,32,08,657|
(With inputs from PTI)
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