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India vaccination drive hits record high with around 4 crore jabs this week

Out of the 3.98 crore jabs given this week, nearly 70 percent of the vaccinations (2.74 crore) were received in the 18-44 age group.

June 26, 2021 / 10:45 AM IST
Source: AP

Source: AP

India achieved its highest weekly vaccination figure so far as nearly four crore jabs were administered this week, the latest data on the government’s COWIN platform shows.

About 3.98 crore jabs were given during the week ended June 25, a significant jump from the previous weekly record of 2.47 crore jabs administered between April 3-9.

The record jump in doses administered last week is nearly double of 2.12 crore jabs given the week earlier between June 12-18. The weekly vaccination mark had in fact hit a low of merely 92 lakh jabs in the week between May 15-21, before the Centre took back the job from states of procuring vaccines for the 18-44 group.

“Nearly four crore jabs achieved in a week in June shows a consistent increase in the jabs being given daily. The government is looking at nearly 20 crore vaccinations happening in the month of July and 30 crore vaccinations in a month from August,” a senior government official told News18, expressing confidence that all 94 crore adults in the country can be fully vaccinated by December this year.

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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, nearly 89 percent of all these vaccinations were first doses. The government has been stressing on vaccination of the priority category of 45+ age group as well as second doses but the demand is clearly coming from the 18-44 age group and for the first dose.

The vaccination numbers are expected to go up further from July and could hit the 5 crore per week mark with states like Uttar Pradesh aiming at doing 10 lakh jabs daily. Rajasthan has also told the Centre that it has the capacity to vaccinate 15 lakh people daily if the supplies are adequate. Rajasthan accounted for the maximum 9 lakh-plus jabs administered on June 25, as per COWIN.

Among the states which gave the highest jabs over this week were Uttar Pradesh at 45 lakh jabs, Madhya Pradesh at 37 lakh, Karnataka at 31 lakh, Maharashtra at 30 lakh, Rajasthan at 28 lakh and Gujarat at 26 lakh jabs.

Uttar Pradesh is also closing in on Maharashtra to be the state which has administered the maximum total number of jabs so far and could overtake Maharashtra next week. Uttar Pradesh has so far given nearly 2.99 crore jabs while Maharashtra is slightly ahead at 3.03 crore jabs. While Uttar Pradesh is giving 7-8 lakh jabs daily, Maharashtra is behind at about 5 lakh daily jabs.

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Aman Sharma is a writer at News18
first published: Jun 26, 2021 10:39 am