More than 71.04 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on September 25, taking the total number of jabs to over 85.6 crore, the Union Health Ministry's latest report has said.
On the 253rd day of the vaccination drive against COVID-19, 34.63 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 33.78 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. By August 25, India has given 60 crore doses. On September 13, 75 crore COVID-19 vaccines had been given. The biggest jump, however, came on September 17, when more than 2.1 crore doses were given in a day.
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.
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.
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. In the second phase that started from March 1, everyone above 60 and above 45 with comorbidities was included. From April 1, the drive was expanded to everyone aged 45 and above.
From May 1, the 18-44 age group, too, was eligible for the jab June 21.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination:
- India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine against COVID-19, which can be administered to all people above the age of 12 years, PM Modi said on September 25 while addressing the 76th United Nations General Assembly session. In August, the Drugs Controller General of India gave Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to Zydus Cadila's indigenously developed needle-free COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, which is to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.
- The Health Department in Tamil Nadu expects the total number of people administered with COVID-19 vaccines to breach the five-crore mark soon, State Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian said on the day.
- Mourning the loss of lives lost due to the global coronavirus pandemic, PM Modi reiterated on the day India's commitment to start giving vaccines to needy persons in other countries, even as he gave a clarion call to manufacturers to "Come, Make Vaccine in India".
- Special COVID-19 vaccination sessions will be held by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for women on September 27 and for students and teachers on September 28 at civic and government-run centres, an official said on the day. The session for women will be held between 10 am and 6 pm, and the one for students above the age of 18 and teachers will be from 9 am to 2 pm, he said.
- The Quad, which has pledged to donate over 1.2 billion COVID vaccine doses globally, has delivered nearly 79 million safe, effective and quality-assured vaccine doses to countries in the Indo-Pacific to contain the devastating coronavirus pandemic, according to the four-member grouping. The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.
- People who are fully inoculated and want to travel abroad will have a CoWin certificate with their full date of birth, official sources said on the day amid ongoing discussions between India and the UK over COVID vaccination certificates. Currently, CoWin certificates mention the beneficiary's age based on the year of birth besides other details.Here is the vaccination count for states/UTs:
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,08,44,395|