To vaccinate people against the novel coronavirus infection nearly 12 crore vaccine doses will be available in states and union territories in June through the free of cost channel and direct state procurement said the Union Health Ministry on May 30.
As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the central government has been providing COVID vaccines to the states and UTs free of cost. On May 1, it implemented the 'Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy' wherein 50 percent of the available doses are earmarked for supply to states and UTs, as free of cost supply from the Centre, while the remaining is available for direct procurement from the vaccine manufacturers by states, UTs and private hospitals.
In June, 6.09 crore (6,09,60,000) doses of COVID vaccines will be supplied to the states and UTs for vaccination of priority group of healthcare workers (HCWs), frontline workers (FLWs) and people aged 45 years and above as free of cost from the Centre, said the ministry in a release issued on the day.
In addition, more than 5.86 crore (5,86,10,000) doses will be available for direct procurement by the states, UTs and private hospitals, read the release.
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.
Therefore, in June 2021 close to 12 crore (11,95,70,000) doses will be available for the national COVID vaccination programme, it said.
The delivery schedule for this allocation of COVID-19 vaccine will be shared in advance, the ministry stated.
The objective behind informing about the availability of vaccines in advance is to ensure better planning and delivery of vaccine by states and UTs, it said.
In May, a total number of 7,94,05,200 doses were available for the national COVID-19 vaccination programme. Of these, more than 4.03 crore (4,03,49,830) vaccine doses were made available by the Union Government free of cost and more than 3.90 crore (3,90,55,370) doses were available for direct procurement by the states as well as private hospitals.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.