India administered more than 80.98 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccination count beyond 124.1 crore amid the potential threat of Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to the Union Health Ministry update on December 1.
On the 319th day of the nationwide vaccination drive, over 25.8 lakh people received their first shot and 55.18 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:
- The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) are deliberating and considering scientific evidence for the need and justification for booster dose, Rajya Sabha was told on November 30. Responding to a query on the stand of the Indian Government on booster doses, Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar in a written reply said some countries are providing booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
- The door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination campaign 'Har Ghar Dastak' has been extended till December 31 with a focus on 100 percent first dose coverage and completing the backlog of second dose vaccination, the Union Health Ministry said on the day. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level virtual meeting with states and UTs to review COVID-19 public health response measures and preparedness amid cases of potentially more contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 being reported across various countries.
- Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) director Dr RK Dhiman said on the day that vaccination will prove to be the most effective weapon for Uttar Pradesh against the new variant of coronavirus.
- Nominated Rajya Sabha MP Narendra Jadhav urged the government on the day to administer booster shots of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline worker and senior citizens amid concerns over new variant of coronavirus Omicron.
- A total of 8,390 people with disabilities received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 4,018 both doses till November 28, according to the CoWIN portal, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar told the Rajya Sabha on the day.
- District collectors in Rajasthan have been asked to run special campaigns to administer the second dose of coronavirus vaccine to those who have skipped it, state Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena said on the day. Meena said that the state government has taken a number of steps in the wake of apprehensions about the possible third COVID-19 wave.
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,66,41,418|