More than 52.76 lakh vaccine doses were administered in India on June 28, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 32.90 crore.
On the 164th day of the vaccination drive on June 28, 41.24 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 11.52 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:
- Noting that India's COVID-19 vaccination drive "keeps gaining" momentum, PM Modi said that "vaccines for all, free for all" remains the government's commitment. PM Modi was reacting to a tweet of the Union Health Ministry on June 28 that put out an infographic saying India has achieved another milestone as the total number of jabs administered here is more than in countries like the US, the UK, Germany, France and Italy.
- All Covishield vaccinations scheduled for June 29 at government centres in Gautam Buddh Nagar have been deferred to July 5, officials said on the day. The decision has been taken due to "unavoidable" reasons, Chief Medical Officer Deepak Ohri said in a statement.
- Serum Institute of India (SII) has urged the government to take up the inclusion of Covishield in the EU COVID-19 Vaccination Passport with the European Union and other countries, saying if not done it will affect students and business travellers, and disrupt the Indian and global economy.
- A record 22,042 people were vaccinated on the day in the limits of the Thane Municipal Corporation, taking the overall number of vaccinations so far to 5,55,537, an official release said. Separately, a special camp was held by a political party in collaboration with an organisation under the limits of the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) in the Thane district where 50 visually challenged people were given jabs.
- Vaccination of students pursuing higher studies started in the state from the day, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
- A mobile COVID-19 vaccination centre on tracks was started for the first time by the Eastern Railway on the day for inoculation and medical check-up of its employees and their families at far off stations under its Sealdah division, an official said in Kolkata. The railway mobile unit 'Aarogya' is an air-conditioned EMU coach with separate compartments for patient waiting, doctors' room, observation area, dressing room/minor OT, with an oxygen cylinder and basic resuscitative equipment, he said.Here's the vaccination count for some states:
(With inputs from PTI)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic