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COVID-19 vaccine wastage at 23%, Tamil Nadu leads with 12%: Report

States used over 10 crore doses and wasted more than 44 lakh till April 11, an RTI reply has said.

April 20, 2021 / 01:30 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

Amid reports of shortage of COVID-19 vaccine, a Right To Information (RTI) reply revealed high wastage in several states, with Tamil Nadu leading the pack.

Of the total COVID-19 vaccines allocated, Tamil Nadu reported the highest wastage at 12.10 percent, followed by Haryana (9.74 percent), Punjab (8.12 percent), Manipur (7.8 percent) and Telangana (7.55 percent), NDTV reported.

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Overall, 23 percent of vaccine dose was wasted in India till April 11. States used over 10 crore doses and wasted more than 44 lakh, the reply said.

Kerala, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Goa, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Island and Lakshadweep were among the states and UTs that reported "zero wastage".

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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Also read: COVID-19 Vaccination: Here's how states have performed so far

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Ministry have on several occasions asked states to minimise vaccine wastage. The ministry also said that the allocation will depend upon the states' performance.

"The government of India from its share will allocate vaccines to states and UTs based on the criteria of the extent of infection (number of active COVID cases) and performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, the state-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the states adequately in advance," the Health Ministry said on April 19.

Read: COVID-19 vaccine for all adults from May 1: All your key questions answered

The Centre has decided to open up vaccination for all above the age of 18 from May 1. Under the third phase of the national vaccination drive, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Centre and would be free to supply the remaining 50 percent to states and in open market.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 20, 2021 01:30 pm

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