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PM Narendra Modi to chair all-party meet today; COVID-19 situation, vaccine distribution likely to be discussed

The COVID-19 situation and India's vaccine strategy are likely to be discussed in the virtual all-party meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi.

December 04, 2020 / 07:59 AM IST
PM Narendra Modi (File image: PTI)

PM Narendra Modi (File image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting on December 4. This would be the second meeting of its kind since the novel coronavirus pandemic started.

The COVID-19 situation and vaccine strategy are likely to be discussed in the meeting involving floor leaders of all political parties from both Houses of Parliament. The virtual meeting will begin at 10.30 am.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi will be among those attending the meeting from the government’s side. Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, who is also a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) will also attend the meeting.

During his meeting with chief ministers and representatives of states on November 24, PM Modi had discussed India’s vaccination strategy against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The prime minister had said that the dosage and pricing of vaccines had not been decided but had urged states to start preparing for a mass inoculation exercise.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: What you need to know about manufacturing and pricing

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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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Since then, the governments in United Kingdom and Russia have given a green signal for starting vaccination drives there. India is also hoping to vaccinate 25-30 crore people, especially frontline and healthcare workers, by July 2021 even though no COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been granted emergency use authorisation in the country.

As of December 3, India had reported 95.3 lakh COVID-19 cases, including 89.7 lakh recoveries and 4.2 lakh active cases. The death toll from the outbreak of the infectious disease stood at 1.3 lakh. There are concerns of a strong second wave spreading in various parts of the country. New Delhi is already facing what some have described as a “third wave”.

Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the coronavirus pandemic

Clubbing of Winter and Budget Sessions?

Amid the pandemic, the proposal to club the Winter Session of Parliament with the Budget Session this time may also be discussed. The Budget Session, which includes presentation of the Union Budget, generally begins in the last week of January.

Some opposition parties have been calling on the government to immediately convene a special session of Parliament to debate issues, including the ongoing farmers’ protests against new agricultural laws.

Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 4, 2020 07:59 am

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