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COVID-19 Vaccination | Centre approves purchase of 7 crore vaccines: Report

While the initial phase of the programme intends to innoculate 3 crore healthcare and essential workers who will require 6 crore does (vaccination is of two doses per individual), the additional 1 crore doses "as backup."

January 13, 2021 / 08:27 AM IST
India's vaccination programme is set to begin from January 16 (Representative Image)

India's vaccination programme is set to begin from January 16 (Representative Image)

The Centre has approved the purchase of 7 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines - 6 crore from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and 1 crore from Bharat Biotech, for the first phase of India's vaccination programme.

“The approval has been given and orders are likely to be placed in batches to be decided by the ministry of health and family welfare,” an official told The Economic Times.

Follow our LIVE Updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

While the initial phase of the programme intends to innoculate 3 crore healthcare and essential workers who will require 6 crore does (vaccination is of two doses per individual), the source added that the government will keep the additional 1 crore doses "as a backup."

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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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The Centre has already placed orders for 1.1 crore doses of Covishied from SII and 5.50 lakh doses of COVAXIN from Bharat Biotech, it added. Prices of the vaccines have been set at Rs 200 per injection for Covishied and Rs 309 (with tax) for COVAXIN.

Also Read | COVID-19 vaccine FAQs: Can you choose your vaccine, what will be the cost and other questions answered

Further, there are plans to approve at least four more vaccines, especially for the second phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed state chief minister during a meeting on January 11.

India's coronavirus vaccination drive is set to begin from January 16. It will be for healthcare workers, sanitation workers, policemen, armed forces, and various public officials.

Check here for the latest updates on all COVID-19 vaccines

Another government source told the paper they do not anticipate vaccine shortage, and will in fact see production ramp-up over the next three months with the introduction of more private players.

Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here

Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 13, 2021 02:31 am

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