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Last Updated : Oct 24, 2020 03:13 PM IST | Source: PTI

Arvind Kejriwal pitches for free COVID vaccine throughout India

A debate has started on whether the COVID-19 vaccine, which is yet to materialise, should be made available to people for free, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promising free doses of the vaccine in its manifesto for the Bihar polls.

PTI
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the COVID-19 vaccine should be made available throughout the country for free, saying all the people were troubled by the coronavirus.

A debate has started on whether the COVID-19 vaccine, which is yet to materialise, should be made available to people for free, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promising free doses of the vaccine in its manifesto for the Bihar polls.

"The whole country should get free COVID-19 vaccine. It is a right of the entire country. All the people are troubled by the coronavirus, so the vaccine should be free for the country," Kejriwal told reporters after inaugurating two flyovers in northeast Delhi.

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The coronavirus vaccine, once available, will be distributed under a special COVID-19 immunisation programme with the Centre procuring the doses directly and making it available for priority groups, official sources have said.

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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According to them, the Centre will procure the vaccine directly to make it available to the priority groups for free through the existing network of states and districts.
First Published on Oct 24, 2020 03:14 pm
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