India has administered more than 67.82 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccination count beyond 113.68 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry update on November 17.
On the 305th day of the nationwide vaccination drive, over 21.29 lakh people received their first shot and 46.52 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:
- Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said there was hesitancy about taking anti-coronavirus vaccines in Muslim-dominated areas, and the government will take the help of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to convince people to take the jab. Maharashtra is leading in terms of the number of vaccine shots administered, but in some areas the pace of vaccination is low, Tope has said.
- If someone loses their livelihood due to the vaccine administered by the State, is the government not duty bound to redress his grievance? the Kerala High Court asked the Centre on November 16. The poser came during the hearing of a man's plea for a third jab of an internationally recognised vaccine so that he can go back to Saudi Arabia, where he was working as a welder prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Stepping up the gas on the vaccination exercise, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to hold two mega vaccination drives every week, hitherto a weekly exercise, as members of the public were evincing hesitation to receive the jabs, State minister Ma Subramanian said on the day. With effect from November 18, the Health department would hold the vaccination exercises on Thursdays and on Sundays respectively across the state, the Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Subramanian said after inspecting the vaccine inventories at the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Chennai.
- The Odisha government on the day urged district collectors to prepare village and panchayat level micro plans for achieving hundred per cent vaccination against COVID-19 for people above 18 years. The state government has set a target to administer the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 90 percent of eligible beneficiaries by November-end and hundred percent by December, Additional Health Chief Secretary Raj Sharma said.
- Twenty-five villages in Aurangabad in Maharashtra will get additional funds to complete the COVID-19 vaccination process.Vaccination count for states/UTs:
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,59,63,235|