More than 1.03 crore vaccine doses were administered in India on August 27, the highest ever in a day, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 62.29 crore.
On the 224th day of the vaccination drive on August 27, 77.07 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 26.45 lakh people were given their second dose.
The country took 85 days to touch the figure of 10 crore. It then took 45 days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach 30 crore. India took another 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 more days to cross 50 crore vaccinations, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains unchanged, i.e. four weeks.
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 aged 45 and above 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:
- India administered more than one crore COVID-19 vaccine doses on August 27, the highest ever in a day, the Union Health Ministry said. PM Modi hailed those behind the vaccination drive and also praised people getting inoculated. "Record vaccination numbers today! Crossing 1 crore is a momentous feat. Kudos to those getting vaccinated and those making the vaccination drive a success," he tweeted.
- Over 4.50 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Gujarat so far, including over 5.13 lakh on the day, according to an official release.
- The risk of developing adverse events such as blood clots is considerably higher after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus than after immunisation with Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, according to a large UK study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on the day. The team led by researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK conducted the study on thrombocytopenia -- a condition with low platelet counts -- and thromboembolic events or blood clots following COVID-19 vaccination with Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech preventives.
- Fully vaccinated staff, well sanitised precincts and optional physical attendance are among the safety measures that will be taken by coaching institutes in Delhi which have been allowed reopen from September 1.Here's the vaccination count for some states:
(With inputs from PTI)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic