More than 65.34 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on September 29, taking the total number of jabs to over 88.34 crore, the Union Health Ministry's latest report has said.
On the 257th day of the vaccination drive, 34.53 lakh individuals received their first shot and 30.81 lakh their second dose.
After a slow start, India's vaccination drive has picked up in 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.
The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 days to cross 50 crore doses on August 6.
Nearly 25 percent of the estimated adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a report by The Indian Express.
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.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination:
> AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield in India) demonstrated 74 percent efficacy at preventing symptomatic disease, a figure that increased to 83.5 percent in people aged 65 and older, according to the results of the company's US. clinical trial.
> Some of India's private hospitals have cancelled orders for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine as they struggle to sell COVID-19 shots amid surging supplies of free doses of other vaccines offered by the government.
Industry officials told Reuters that low demand and the extremely cold storage temperatures required have spurred at least three big hospitals to cancel orders for Sputnik V, sold only on the private market in India.> Experts told Moneycontrol that only those who are immunocompromised may need a booster shot. To be sure, all people don’t need a booster or third dose at the moment. Even in the US, the emergency approval of the third dose is limited to people over 65, nursing home residents who received the Pfizer vaccine, and the younger population whose occupation puts them at high risk of getting infected with Covid-19.
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