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COVID-19 vaccine administered to 6.31 lakh so far, active cases slide to less than 2%

The pace of vaccination is one of the highest in the world, as India has succeeded to inoculate 6,31,417 persons within four days of launching the immunisation programme.

January 20, 2021 / 06:57 AM IST
(Image: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

(Image: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

The COVID-19 vaccine has so far been administered to over 6.31 lakh persons in the country so far, the Health Ministry said in the latest update issued on January 19.

The pace of vaccination is one of the highest in the world, as India has succeeded to inoculate 6,31,417 persons within four days of launching the immunisation programme.

Active cases around 2 lakh

The tally of active infections has slided below 2 percent of the overall number of cases recorded in the country, since the onset of pandemic.

A total of 2,00,528 persons are currently infected with the disease, accounting for 1.90 percent of the cumulative case count standing at 1,05,82,647.

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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 fatality rate stood at 1.44 percent, whereas, the weekly positivity rate was recorded as 1.97 percent, the Health Ministry stated.

"Active cases are around 2 lakhs after seven months and the number is declining. Daily number of deaths less than 140 after eight months," the Health Secretary said.

Five states account for 72 percent of the total active cases, with Maharashtra and Kerala being the two major contributors. The active infection count in the two states stood at 51,887 and 68,617, respectively.

Vaccination numbers vis-a-vis other countries

While India has covered a population of 6.31 lakh within four days of the vaccination drive, the US was able to inoculate 5,56,208 people in the first week, the Health Ministry claimed.

In UK, the count of beneficiaries was over 1 lakh at the end of first week, whereas, France had provided the jabs to only 516 persons in the first seven days. The first-week vaccination count in Russia was around 52,000.

The number of people vaccinated in India so far is more than three times the number of active cases in the country.

Telangana, UP lauded for fast coverage

Around 81 percent of the beneficiaries eligible in the initial round were covered in Telangana in two days.

In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, around 71 percent of the listed beneficiaries were provided with the vaccine shots. The coverage in Andhra Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli was around 80 percent.

AEFI 0.18%

Out of the total persons vaccinated so far, only 0.18 percent of the beneficiaries reported Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), the Health Ministry said in its press briefing earlier in the day.

The numbers account for those who reported symptoms such as anxiety, vomiting and nausea. Only 0.002 percent of the beneficiaries were hospitalised after reporting AEFI.

"0.18 percent adverse events happened following immunization and 0.002 percent of people were hospitalized following immunisation. These are fairly low and the lowest so far in the world in the first three days," Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
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