Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on Friday amid rising cases of coronavirus in the country. The meeting of the council of ministers is the first in the aftermath of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.
Sources said the pandemic and the response of the government is likely to be discussed in the virtual meet.
The ongoing vaccination drive, which will now open for those in the 18-45 age group from May 1, could also be discussed.
Prime Minister Modi has held several rounds of meetings with chief ministers and top government officials to deliberate on the COVID-19 situation.
He has also been holding meetings with pharma industry leaders, oxygen suppliers, heads of the three armed forces and other dignitaries to discuss how to tackle the pandemic.
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.