India has administered more than 71.92 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccination count beyond 117.63 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry update on November 23.
On the 311th day of the nationwide vaccination drive, over 23.22 lakh people received their first shot and 48.69 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.
In 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 developments related to COVID-19 vaccination in India:
- There is no scientific evidence so far to support the need for a booster vaccine dose against COVID-19, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said on November 22 underlining the completion of second dose for India's adult population is the priority for the government for now. According to sources, the booster dose issue is likely to be discussed in the next meeting of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI).
- Around 18 lakh people in West Bengal have not turned up in time for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, owing to a number of reasons - contracting the virus after the first shot, death or migration to other states for work - according to a recent survey conducted by the health department. The figure includes beneficiaries of the first dose of both Covaxin and Covishield, the prescribed duration of the second dose of which are 28-42 days and 84-112 days, respectively, the study conducted in 23 districts and five health districts of the state showed.
- Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on the day urged Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Puducherry, which have been reporting a low vaccination coverage, to launch aggressive campaign to increase the pace and ensure full COVID-19 inoculation of the adult population. Reiterating that vaccination is the most potent weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Mandaviya urged the states and the UT to innovatively rope in all stakeholders, including NGOs, faith-based organisations, religious leaders, community influencers and other partners, to motivate and mobilise all eligible population towards full COVID vaccination, a health ministry statement said.
- Teachers in Tamil Nadu should get first vaccinated, before going to schools to teach students, the Madras High Court observed on the day. If the instructors want to go to school, they must get vaccinated first in the interest of students, so as to protect them from the dreaded disease, the court said.
- Australia will allow entry for fully-vaccinated eligible visa holders into the country from Dec. 1 without applying for a travel exemption, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on the day, as it takes further steps to restart international travel.Vaccination count for states/UTs:
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,62,55,525|