Down from 21.93 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses administered on April 28, India gave over 20 lakh shots on April 29, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report.
With that, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country has crossed 15.21 crore. The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 15,21,05,563, according to the 8 pm provisional report.
On April 29, a total of 20,84,931 vaccine doses were given till 8 pm, out of which 11,82,563 beneficiaries got the first dose and 9,02,368 the second dose.
India 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. From April 1, vaccination was opened for everyone above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities.
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.
Under phase 3, everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1. The centre has also allowed states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Registration on CoWIN platform for the third phase will begin on April 28.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India:
> The United States will send 20 million doses of its spare AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, branded as Covishield, to India. It has also agreed to divert ‘sufficient’ Millipore filters to India so that the country can boost domestic production of up to 18 million more doses of the vaccine.
> Mumbai has completely suspended COVID-19 vaccination for three days. BMC said that the city did not have adequate doses to continue inoculation. "Owing to the non-availability of vaccine stock, no vaccination will be conducted at any Govt/BMC/Pvt COVID-19 vaccination centre till May 2," BMC said, adding that it was making all efforts to ensure availability of more vaccine doses.
> Ahead of the expansion of the vaccine drive for the 18-44 age group, several states have said they don't have enough jabs to begin vaccinating people above 18. So far, at least nine states, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, said they will not begin phase 3 vaccination from May 1.
> Hyderabad-based COVID-19 vaccine maker Bharat Biotech announced on April 29 that Covaxin will be available at the rate of Rs 400 per dose to state governments. The company had earlier set Covaxin’s price at Rs 600 per dose for state governments.
> Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on April 29 said the city does not have sufficient doses of vaccine to begin inoculation of those in the 18-44 age group. "At present, we don't have vaccines. We have requested the companies to provide it," Jain said when asked if there were enough vaccines available for the 18-44 age group.
> Union Health Ministry has said that more than 1 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs and they will receive over 20 lakh more doses within the next 3 days
Here are total number of doses administered by each state: