Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested citizens not to line up outside COVID-19 vaccination centres in the national capital on May 1, the day when those above 18 too can get the jab, as the city doesn't have enough doses.
“We've not received the vaccines yet but we are in constant touch with the company and are hopeful that vaccines will reach by tomorrow or the day after,” Kejriwal said in a short video statement on Twitter.
The Delhi chief minister said the vaccine company—Serum Institute of India—has assured the Delhi government that 3 lakh doses of Covishield would be supplied to the capital by May 1 or the day after.
Delhi is among one of the worst-hit cities, with daily infections remaining stubbornly high. The death toll, too, has been mounting as people struggle for hospital beds, medical oxygen and medicines.
Delhi on April 29 reported 24, 235 coronavirus cases. The city's case count reached 11.22 lakh (1,122,286). The city has reported 15,772 deaths. A total of 10.08 lakh people have been discharged so far.
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.
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From May 1, all above 18 years of age can get the COVID-19 vaccine as the country begins Phase 3 of the nation-wide inoculation programme but several states have expressed their inability citing vaccine shortage.
Here’s what Kejriwal said:
>> Requested people between 18 and 45 years of age to not queue up at COVID-19 vaccine centres on May 1
>> Government will make “proper announcements” as and when vaccines are available and only then people with appointments can start coming to the centres.
Also Read | List of states that will not begin vaccination drive for 18-44 age group from May 1
>> Delhi has requested both vaccine makers—SII and Bharat Biotech—for 67 lakh doses each over the next three months and that the state government was “ready to make payments for it”.
>> Citizens will be given free vaccines.
>> The state aims to vaccinate all Delhi citizens in the next three months “if a sufficient quantity of vaccines is supplied by the companies”.