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PM Narendra Modi takes his first COVID-19 vaccine dose at AIIMS Delhi

PM Narendra Modi was reportedly administered a shot of Bharat BioTech's COVAXIN COVID-19 vaccine

March 01, 2021 / 10:32 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on March 1.

“Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!” the prime minister said in a tweet.

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PM Modi was administered Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine shot by Sister P. Niveda, from Puducherry, according to a report by news agency ANI.

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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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India is set to launch the second phase of its vaccination drive on March 1 in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free at government facilities and for a charge at a number of private hospitals.

Private hospitals have been allowed to charge up to Rs 250 per dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The eligible beneficiaries would be able to register themselves on the purpose-built Co-WIN platform starting 9.00 am on March 1. Co-WIN, a digital platform, was created for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery. The new version of the Co-WIN platform is GPS-enabled and beneficiaries will have the option to choose the inoculation session site both at the government and private facilities.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccination phase 2 | Eligible beneficiaries, how to register, documents required and more

The prime minister had launched the nationwide vaccination drive, pegged as the world's largest, on January 16 with healthcare and frontline workers being given the priority. More than 1.42 crore beneficiaries have received at least their first jabs as part of the two-dose regime.

As of February 28, India had recorded more than 1.1 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 1.57 lakh deaths. A total of 1.07 crore patients had recuperated from the infectious disease. However, more than 1.64 lakh cases remained active across the country, comprising 1.48 percent of the total caseload. India's recovery rate stood at 96.1 percent even as many states were witnessing resurgence in the number of cases being reported per day.

A speedy and efficient vaccination drive is being seen as the only main ways to stop the spread of the disease and to restore normalcy in the pandemic-battered global economy.

In early January, India’s drug regulator had approved two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) - for emergency use in the country. It is expected that more vaccine candidates will get an emergency use approval in the coming months.

Many eligible beneficiaries and experts had expressed apprehensions about the Covaxin vaccine as it is still in the final stages of clinical trial and its efficacy is yet to be ascertained.

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first published: Mar 1, 2021 07:20 am
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