More than 59.62 lakh vaccine doses were administered in India on August 30, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 64.05 crore.
On the 227th day of the vaccination drive on August 30, 43.75 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 15.86 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:
- Over 1.53 lakh anti-COVID vaccines were administered in Delhi on August 30, according to the CoWin portal. The national capital has so far given 1,33,82,514 vaccine doses, including 95,59,634 first doses and 38,22,880 second doses of the vaccines, according to the portal.
- More than 63.09 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have so far been provided to the states and Union territories by the Centre for free and under the direct state procurement category, the Union health ministry said on the day. Further, more than 21.76 lakh (21,76,930) doses are in the pipeline, it added. More than 4.87 crore (4,87,39,946) balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states, the ministry said.
- New Zealand reported what authorities said was the country's first recorded death linked to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on the day. The information was released by the health ministry following a review by an independent COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring board of the death of a woman after receiving the vaccine. The ministry's statement did not give the woman's age. The board considered that the woman’s death was due to myocarditis, which is known to be a rare side effect of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the statement said. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can limit the organ's ability to pump blood and can cause changes in heartbeat rhythms.
- The popular 'Ayodhya Ki Ramleela' to be staged in October this year in Uttar Pradesh will have fully vaccinated performers against the novel coronavirus infection, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said on the day. No actor will be allowed to take part in the Ramleela unless he or she has taken both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, he said.Here's the vaccination count for some states: