India has carried out the fifth highest number of COVID-19 vaccinations by inoculating 2.03 million people till January 26, the Health Ministry said, stressing the number of beneficiaries who have received the shots has crossed 25 lakh till Thursday afternoon.
Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that India was the fastest country to reach 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations in six days, while the US took 10 days, Spain 12, Israel 14, the UK 18, Italy 19, Germany 20 and UAE 27 days.
"As per our world data till January 26, India, which launched its nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, had carried out the fifth highest number of vaccinations in the world by vaccinating 2.03 million people. The important point is many other countries are showing their progress for over 50 days while India is showing its vaccination on January 26 after just 11 days," Bhushan said.
Till January 26, the US had administered 23.54 million doses, the UK 7.64 million doses, UAE 2.76 million doses, Germany 1.99 million doses, Italy 1.58 million dose, Spain 1.36 million doses and France 1.14 million doses.
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.
Bhushan said that the number of beneficiaries who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in India since the nationwide drive was rolled out has reached 25,07,556 till Jan 28 at 2 pm.
Lakshadweep (83.4 percent), Odisha (50.7 percent), Haryana (50 percent), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (48.3 percent), Rajasthan (46.8 percent), Tripura (45.6 percent), Mizoram (40.5 percent), Telangana (40.3 percent), Andhra Pradesh (38.1 percent), Karnataka (35.6 percent) and Madhya Pradesh (35.5 percent) are among the better performing states with over 35 percent vaccination coverage of healthcare workers, he said.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu (15.7 percent), Delhi (15.7 percent), Jharkhand (14.7 percent), Uttarakhand (17.1 percent), Chhattisgarh (20.6 percent) and Maharashtra (20.7 percent) have less than 21 percent vaccination coverage and need to improve, he said.
India's cumulative COVID-19 positivity rate is 5.51 percent and is declining while the active cases are less then 1.75 lakh after seven months and is declining, Bhushan stated.
Two states, Kerala and Maharashtra, account for 67 percent of total active COVID-19 cases in country, he said.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.