India administered more than 73.62 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccination count beyond 129.54 crore amid the potential threat of Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to the Union Health Ministry update on December 8.
On the 326th day of the nationwide vaccination drive, over 22.47 lakh people received their first shot and 51.14 lakh their second dose.
The vaccination drive accelerated over the past 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:
- India has supplied over 723 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 94 countries and two UN entities since the start of the Vaccine Maitri Programme in January this year, the Rajya Sabha was informed on December 7. India supplied COVID-19-related medical and other assistance to over 150 countries since the beginning of the pandemic, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
- Appealing people not to panic over the Omicron scare, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said his government plans to get all eligible citizens fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 19, the coastal state's liberation day. Notably, five people, including two Russian nationals, who arrived in Goa on board a merchant navy ship, were isolated after they tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to detect the presence of the Omicron variant, an official earlier said.
- Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on the day appealed to people to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest. Channi, who got his second dose of an anti-coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, also said people should not show any sort of complacency to protect themselves from the possible threat of the new variant Omicron.
- Following up first doses of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines with second doses of the Moderna or Novavax jabs generates robust immune response against COVID-19, according to a study published in The Lancet journal. A team led by researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK found that no safety concerns were raised in the study of 1,070 participants.
- A medical officer serving in rural parts of Aurangabad in Maharashtra was suspended by the district collector on the day for three months after she was not found at her workplace, a primary health centre which has been recording a low vaccination rate against coronavirus, an official said. District collector Sunil Chavan issued the suspension order of Dr Chitra Burhade, who is attached to the health centre at Siddhanth Wadgaon.
- Most young people under the age of 21 who develop suspected COVID-19 vaccine-related inflammation of heart muscle, known as myocarditis, have mild symptoms that improve quickly, according to a study.Vaccination count for states/UTs:
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,70,50,262|