The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India has crossed 1.77 crore, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated and vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) starting from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March for those above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.
A total of 1,77,11,287 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till Thursday 7 pm.
These include 68,38,077 healthcare workers, who have taken the first dose and 30,82,942 healthcare workers who have taken the second dose, 60,22,136 frontline workers (first dose), 54,177 FLWs (second dose), 14,95,016 beneficiaries over 60 years and 2,18,939 individuals aged 45 and above with specific comorbidities, the ministry said.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
A total of 10,93,954 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm on Thursday, the forty-eighth day of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
"Out of which, 8,34,141 beneficiaries were vaccinated for first dose and 2,59,813 HCWs and FLWs received second dose of vaccine as per the provisional report," the ministry said, adding that final reports would be completed for the day by late night.A total of 8,34,141 beneficiaries include 4,93,999 people aged over 60 years and 75,147 individuals aged between 45-60 with specified comorbidities.