A total of 28,47,608 beneficiaries have so far been vaccinated for COVID-19 through 52,667 sessions held till the evening of January 28, the thirteenth day of the immunisation drive, according to a provisional report of the Union Health Ministry.
On January 28, 4,91,615 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 7.00 pm through 9,994 vaccination sessions, the ministry said. 293 AEFIs have been reported till 7 pm on day 13 of the vaccination drive, it said.
The ministry said that India carried out the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 vaccinations by inoculating 2.03 million people till January 26. Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that India was the fastest country to reach 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations in six days, while the US took 10 days, Spain 12, Israel 14, the UK 18, Italy 19, Germany 20 and UAE 27 days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive with healthcare workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs on January 16.
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.
India’s drug regulator has approved two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) - for emergency use in the country.
According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.
Here are all developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine in India:
> As many as 40,187 healthcare workers, or 73 percent of the targeted beneficiaries, received vaccine doses on January 28 in Maharashtra, taking the number of those inoculated against COVID-19 so far to 2,19,696, the state health department said.
> Over 8,200 healthcare workers received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi on the day in the second week of the vaccination drive as the city recorded a turnout of more than 77 percent. After a sluggish start since the exercise was kicked off on January 16, the inoculation drive has picked up pace in the last several days.
> As many as 20,636 healthcare personnel in the private sector were administered the COVID-19 vaccine in Telangana on the day, the government said. The number of personnel planned to be inoculated during the day was 45,973 and the state recorded around 45 percent coverage, an official release said.
> As many as 4,794 healthcare workers were vaccinated for COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh on the day, according to an official.
> India will soon make available many more COVID-19 vaccines to other countries after two Made-In-India jabs have already been introduced to the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on the day while emphasising the country's global responsibility in fighting the pandemic.
> India has gifted over 55 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines to its neighbouring countries and several of those in its extended neighbourhood, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said.
> India sent half a million free doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Sri Lanka on the day, officials said, part of diplomatic efforts by Delhi to deepen ties with its neighbours.Here is the state-wise vaccination:
(With inputs from PTI)Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.