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Govt says was able to squeeze 4.1 million extra doses of COVID vaccine in May-July from vials

Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat are the three states that have extracted maximum number of doses at 0.6 million, 0.5 million and 0.46 million, respectively.

July 29, 2021 / 05:14 PM IST
The Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya said the pace of vaccination across the country is amongst the fastest in the world. (Representative image)

The Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya said the pace of vaccination across the country is amongst the fastest in the world. (Representative image)


The government on July 29 said it was able to extract 4.1 million extra doses of COVID-19 vaccines beyond the labelled quantity between May 1 and July 13.

At the same time, 2.49 lakh doses have been wasted. Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat are the three states that have extracted maximum number of doses at 0.6 million, 0.5 million and 0.46 million, respectively.

The wastage has been high in Bihar at 0.12 million and Jammu & Kashmir at 32,680 doses.

The Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya, while responding to questions from two members of Parliament in Lok Sabha, said the pace of vaccination across the country is amongst the fastest in the world.

"While there have been instances of vaccine wastage in States/UTs but at

the same time extra doses have also been extracted from a given vial as per information on Co-Win portal. Doses wasted and maximum possible doses extracted beyond the labelled quantity are taken into account to arrive at vaccine wastage figures for a state," Mandaviya said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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Mandaviya also said in view of the dynamic and evolving nature of COVID-19 pandemic, no fixed timeline at present can be indicated for the completion of vaccination drive; however, it is expected that all beneficiaries aged 18 years and above will be vaccinated by December 2021.

As on July 20, 2021, a total of 32.64 crore people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 8.55 crore people have completed the two dose schedule.

As per the revised guidelines for implementation of National COVID Vaccination Program, central government is procuring 75 percent of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country.

These vaccines are provided free of cost to states and UTs on the basis of their prorata target population, consumption pattern and vaccine wastage.

Mandaviya said as on July 20, a total of 34.83 crore doses have been supplied free of cost by the government to states and UTs.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Jul 29, 2021 05:14 pm
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