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Delhi government to provide COVID-19 vaccine free of cost if Centre does not: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Cheif Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while confirming that the inoculation programme would be free in Delhi, also warned the residents against rumours and fake news related to COVID-19 vaccines.

January 13, 2021 / 03:56 PM IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

COVID-19 vaccines would be administered to the residents of the national capital free of cost, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on January 13.

The cost would be borne by the Delhi government if the Centre decides to levy a charge, he claimed.

Kejriwal, while confirming that the inoculation programme would be free in Delhi, also warned the residents against rumours and fake news related to the vaccine.

"I request everyone to not spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine. I had appealed to Central government that COVID-19 vaccination should be provided free of cost to all. If Centre does not do it and a need arises, the vaccine will be provided for free to people of Delhi," ANI quoted Kejriwal as saying.

The Union Health Ministry on January 12 confirmed that each dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin would cost Rs 206. The price, excluding taxes, would be levied for the first 55 lakh doses which the company is supplying to the government.

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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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Covishield, the Indian variant of Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine, is priced at Rs 200 per dose for the first 1.1 crore doses. The Pune-based drug manufacturer expects to later sell the vaccine at a price of Rs 1,000 per dose in the private market.

The nationwide inoculation programme in India is set to kick off from January 16. A total of three crore front-line workers, including one crore healthcare staff, would be vaccinated in the initial phase.

The government expects to immunise a population of around 30 crore by July. The priority group includes those aged above 50 and persons with comorbidities.

 

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