India administered more than 74.33 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccination count beyond 104.82 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry update on October 29.
On the 286th day of the nationwide vaccination drive, 28.35 lakh people received their first shot and 45.97 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 next 24 days, the count reached 40 crore and in the following 20 days, it crossed the 50-crore mark on August 6. By September 13, 75 crore vaccines had been given. The biggest jump, however, came on September 17, when more than 2.1 crore doses were given in a day.
On October 21, India scripted history with the 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 then decided to expand the vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.
Here are some major developments related to vaccination:
- India has proposed a reciprocal COVID-19 vaccine certification framework to its partner countries and the G20 to ensure a simplified international travel regime and several nations have already agreed to it, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on October 28. The mechanism is based on reciprocal recognition of the integrity of the vaccine certification process by the partner countries and it will help in normalising international travel, he said at a media briefing.
- Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has been included in the approved list of COVID-19 vaccines for travel to Oman without quarantine. In a tweet, Bharat Biotech noted: "Covaxin has now been added to the approved list of #COVID19 vaccines for travel to Oman without quarantine. This will facilitate travelers from India vaccinated with Covaxin."
- As many as 60 lakh people in Tamil Nadu have not been inoculated against COVID-19 and the Health Department has embarked upon measures to identify the people in order to vaccinate them, State Minister Ma Subramanian said on the day. The Minister for Medical and Family Welfare said during the seventh edition of the mass vaccination campaign scheduled for October 30, the department would target the 60 lakh. "Till date, 70 per cent of the people (in Tamil Nadu) have received the first dose of vaccine.
To date, 5.71 crore vaccinations have been given in the State. About 13 lakh people are waiting to receive the second dose (Bharat Bitotech's) Covaxin. We have requested to expedite release of 10 lakh Covaxin doses by the Centre," he said.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) assistant-director Mariangela Simao said that WHO hoped to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine at a November 3 meeting after asking the company this week for more clinical data.
- African health officials and the United Nations are warning of a looming shortage of up to 2 billion syringes for mainly low- and middle-income countries around the world as the supply of COVID-19 doses rises, and routine vaccinations could be affected, too.
Here is the vaccination count for states/UTs
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,44,81,584|