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Ensure continuous administration of vaccines to prisoners: HC to Kerala govt

The high court also directed the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services to monitor the administration of vaccines.

September 15, 2021 / 11:01 AM IST
On the 207th day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 30.50 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 10.87 lakh people were given their second dose.(Representative image: Reuters)

On the 207th day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 30.50 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 10.87 lakh people were given their second dose.(Representative image: Reuters)

The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to "continuously" administer vaccines to the prisoners and others in central prisons and other jails to prevent spread of COVID-19 there.

The high court also directed the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services to monitor the administration of vaccines.

With the directions, the court disposed of a plea initiated by it on its own based on a prisoner's letter claiming that no vaccination was being carried out in prisons in the state.

The court's order came after the state government informed it that there were only 4,808 prisoners in the prisons in Kerala and that majority of them have been given the first dose of vaccination and special initiatives have been taken to vaccinate the prisoners in different age groups.

The state government also told the court that vaccination was being done for the remand prisoners and others periodically.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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Recording the submission of the state, the court directed, "We order that the administration of vaccination to the prisoners and others in the Central Prisons and other jails should be done continuously and that the same has to be monitored by the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, Thiruvananthapuram."
PTI
first published: Sep 15, 2021 11:01 am

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