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16.5 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed among states based on healthcare worker database: Health ministry

Allaying concerns of supply shortage, the Health Ministry said: “This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded.”

January 13, 2021 / 11:07 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on January 13 that the full initial procurement of 16.5 crore doses on COVID-19 vaccines (Covaxin and Covishield) has been distributed among all states and Union territories in proportion of their healthcare worker database.

"Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any State in allocation of vaccine doses," the ministry said.

Allaying concerns of supply shortage, the ministry said: “This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded.”

The Centre reminded states that they are to organise vaccination drives after keeping aside 10 percent as reserve/wastage doses at an average rate of 100 vaccinations/session per day.

“Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of states to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised,” the ministry added.

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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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All states and UTs have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination sites that would be operational on a daily basis to accommodate more beneficiaries as the vaccination process in the country stabilises.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
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