More than 17.21 lakh vaccine doses were administered in India on June 27, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 32.36 crore.
On the 163rd day of the vaccination drive on June 27, 13.9 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 3.3 lakh people were given their second dose.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains unchanged.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, with healthcare workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs. The country began the second phase of the vaccination drive from March 1 in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities could start getting the vaccine.
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.
From April 1, vaccination was opened for everyone above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities.
India rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-44 age group on May 1.
The central government has 'liberalised' the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals, and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers. However, later it announced to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone above the age of 18 years from June 21. The new COVID-19 vaccination policy is a significant shift from the government's 'liberalised and accelerated' policy, announced earlier.
Registration on CoWIN platform for the third phase began on April 28 and is mandatory for the 18-44 age group.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
- The Delhi government has informed the Centre that the city needs 45 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines in July to keep up the current vaccination rate of 1.5 lakh jabs daily, AAP MLA Atishi Marlena said on June 27.
- Cautioning that the threat of COVID-19 remains, PM Modi urged people on the day to shed vaccine hesitancy, and cited his example and of his nearly 100-year-old mother, both of whom are now fully vaccinated, to ask them to trust science and scientists.
- Encouraged after a chat with PM Modi who urged people to shed hesitancy against the COVID-19 vaccine, a villager from Madhya Pradesh got inoculated along with his family members. Seeking to make people shed their reservations about vaccines against coronavirus, Modi spoke to residents of Dulariya village in MP's Betul district. The chat was aired on the PM's monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' broadcast on the day.
- Twenty-eight-year-old Debanjan Deb, who was arrested for setting up dubious inoculation camps in the city, claimed during an interrogation that he had written to Pune's Serum Institute seeking Covishield vaccines, a senior officer of the Kolkata Police said on the day. Deb, who had impersonated as a joint commissioner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, also insisted that he had set up two fake camps in the city, and not multiple ones, as suggested by many quarters, the officer told reporters.
- Making the COVID-19 vaccine available for children will be a milestone achievement and pave the way for the reopening of schools and resumption of outdoor activities for them, AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria has said. He said the data of phase two and three trials of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin on the two to 18 years age group is expected by September. The vaccine can be available for children in India around that time following approval from the drug regulator, he said.
- Union Ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and G Kishan Reddy visited Bharat Biotech's vaccine manufacturing and Bio-Safety Level-3 facility in Hyderabad on the day to review the production of vaccines, a PIB release said.
- Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda urged city-based vaccine manufacturer Biological E on the day to fast track the availability of their COVID-19 vaccine.Here's the vaccination count for some states:
(With inputs from PTI)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic