Seventy-six per cent of people in the age group of 45 years and above have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Mizoram, an official said on Friday.
The inoculation drive has been accelerated across the state, amid the second wave of the coronavirus infection, National Health Mission (NHM) Director Dr Eric Zomawia said.
"As many as 76 per cent of people in the age group of 45 years and above have been administered the first dose of Covishield vaccine till Thursday as against the national average of 43 per cent," Zomawia told PTI.
The national average for vaccination in the 18-44 years group is 11 per cent, while Mizoram has already immunised 41 per cent of people in this age bracket, he said.
The population size of the 45 years and above category is estimated at around 2.64 lakh in the state and the same in the 18-44 age group is about 5.10 lakh, Zomawia 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.
The state now has "enough stock of vaccine", and 82,220 more doses are expected to arrive here by next week, he said.
"With the arrival of 82,220 vials, we will have a stock of over 1.6 lakh doses by next week," the official said.
State Immunisation Officer Dr Lalzawmi said 4.59 lakh people have been inoculated with 53,960 of them having received both doses of the vaccine.
Over two lakh people of the 18-44 age group are among 4.59 lakh beneficiaries, who have been vaccinated, she said.
The government has currently imposed lockdown in the Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area and certain restrictions in other parts of the state, which will remain in force till 4 am of June 30.
The northeastern state on Thursday reported 224 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally to 18,859.
The death toll rose to 89 as one more person succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment at Zoram Medical College (ZMC).
At least 153 people were discharged from various COVID-19 Care facilities on Friday, taking the total number of recoveries to 14,469.
Mizoram now has 4,301 active cases.