Nearly 80 lakh COVID-19 vaccines were administered in India on August 27, taking the total doses administered in the country to over 61 crore, as per the health ministry's report.
On the 223rd day of the vaccination drive on August 26, 79,48,439 beneficiaries received the jab, pushing total coverage to 61,22,08,542, the report said.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
- Dr NK Arora, Chairman of India's COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI, on August 26 clarified that there is no proposal to change the gap between two doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine. Arora's statement came hours after media reports claimed that the government is reconsidering the 84-day gap span of Covishield doses.
- "India achieves unprecedented milestone! 50 percent of the eligible population inoculated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Keep it up India. Let us fight Corona," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted. Cumulatively, 23,18,95,731 individuals in the age group of 18-44 years have received their first dose and 2,33,74,357 their second dose since the start of phase-3 of the vaccination drive, according to health ministry data.
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.
- Serum Institute of India (SII) has informed the Centre that it will be able to supply around 20 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield in September itself to Government to India and private hospitals, sources told PTI. The Pune-based SII has already supplied 12 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in August, they said.- UNICEF India has signed a USD 15 million agreement with COVID-19 relief initiative Crypto Relief to procure an estimated 160 million syringes to support India in its inoculation drive, according to a statement.
Under the agreement, UNICEF India will procure re-use prevention (RUP) syringes from manufacturers across the world through a global tendering process. To maintain quality, only WHO pre-qualified manufacturers will be asked to participate in the tender.
- No report of COVID-19 vaccine shortage has been received from states and Union Territories in the past two to three weeks and the present situation is "satisfactory", the government said. Responding to a question at a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said states and Union Territories (UTs) have been asked to increase the pace of their vaccination drives.
- Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on Thursday met Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and requested him to supply 5 lakh doses of Covid vaccine daily to the state. "I informed that the state has planned 5 lakh a day vaccination programme from next month. And the minister has assured support to meet the demand of the programme," Bommai told reporters after the meeting.Here's the vaccination count for some states:
(With inputs from PTI)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic