India has administered more than 59.08 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccination count beyond 109.08 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry update on November 9.
On the 297th day of the nationwide vaccination drive, over 17.71 lakh people received their first shot and 41.36 lakh their second dose.
The vaccination drive accelerated over the last few weeks. It took the country 85 days to give the first 10 crore doses, the next 10 crore took 45 days and, in another 29 days, India touched the 30-crore mark.
By the following 24 days, the count reached 40 crore and crossed the 50-crore mark after 20 days on August 6. By September 13, 75 crore vaccine doses were given. The biggest jump, however, came on September 17, when more than 2.1 crore shots were given in one day.
On October 21, India scripted history with cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassing the 100-crore milestone.
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.
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 at 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 next phase started on March 1 for people over 60 years and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions. From April 1, the drive was expanded to include all aged 45 and above. The government decided to expand the vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.
Some major relevant developments:
- Drug firm Zydus Cadila has received an order to supply one crore doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, to the Indian government at Rs 265 per dose, it said on November 8. "Zydus Cadila has received an order to supply one crore doses of ZyCoV-D, the world's first Plasmid DNA Vaccine, to the Government of India at Rs 265 per dose and the needle-free applicator being offered at Rs 93 per dose, excluding GST," the pharma firm said in a regulatory filing.
- People who receive the Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have antibody levels significantly higher than those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a study published in Scientific Reports journal on the day. A team led by researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada found that these antibodies were also effective against the Delta variant.
- Scientists have developed a new protein-based vaccine candidate for COVID-19 that they say is much easier to produce and does not need refrigeration. The research team at Boston Children's Hospital, US, noted that currently available COVID vaccines require cold storage and sophisticated manufacturing capacity, which makes it difficult to produce and distribute them widely, especially in less developed countries.
- Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya has appreciated the steps taken by Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Tamilisai Soundararajan to encourage people to get vaccinated by visiting their houses.
- The Supreme Court said on the day that it would hear on November 29 a plea seeking directions for disclosure of data on clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines as also on post-jab cases. The apex court had earlier in August asked the Centre, Bharat Biotech, SII, and others to respond to the plea, which sought directions to also disclose post-vaccination data regarding adverse events.
- China's military on Monday gifted health materials, including 3,00,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, to the Nepal Army, an official statement said. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) handed over the Nepal Army with 3 lakh doses of Vero Cell vaccines, 100 units of oxygen concentrators and other health materials, according to a press release issued by Nepal Army headquarters.Vaccination count for states/UTs:
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,52,75,757|