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COVID-19 shots administered in India about to overtake count in all of Europe, North America

This is a remarkable feat, considering that all the vaccine doses administered in the country are made locally

June 20, 2022 / 06:10 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

Just shy of a landmark 200 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, the shots administered in India against coronavirus are now about to surpass the total doses given in all of Europe and North America combined.

According to Our World in Data, India has now administered 1.95 billion shots against COVID-19 while this number is 1.29 billion in the case of Europe, 592.27 million in the case of the United States and 85.91 million in case of Canada.

This feat, interestingly, has been achieved despite the fact that the government’s push for booster doses for a large chunk of the population is yet to pick up the momentum.

The CoWIN dashboard, maintained by the Union government shows that as on June 20, 5.30 pm 1,96,17,60,546 vaccine doses against COVID-19 have been administered in India. Of these, 1,57, 07, 56, 208 doses are that of Covishield, followed by 32, 85, 70, 413 doses of Covaxin.

The rest of the doses are of other vaccines against coronavirus including Sputnik V, Corbevax and Covovax.

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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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Also read I Active COVID-19 cases mount; Mumbai shows signs of flattening curve 

More than 90 percent of Indian adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and this figure is also picking for other age groups such as 15-17 years and 12-14 years for which the vaccination is now permitted, as per the figures shared by the government.

Government authorities said that the tremendous feat was a result of concerted efforts taken by the Centre and states to tackle the pandemic.

“The way our COVID-19 vaccination is reaching one milestone after another is a big achievement for the country and the credit also goes to the people who have supported the government in its mammoth effort,” said Dr NK Arora, chairman of the COVID-19 working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation that works under the Union health ministry.

Dr Samiran Panda, chief epidemiologist at the Indian Council of Medical Research said that vaccination is a crucial tool to control the pandemic and the country has done well to accept it wholeheartedly.

“The immunisation division of the health ministry deserves a big kudos for this achievement,” he said.
Sumi Sukanya Dutta
first published: Jun 20, 2022 06:09 pm
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