Ahead of the beginning of the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive where everyone above 18 years will be eligible to get jabbed, the Centre has made it clear that the vials it has provided to the governments of states and union territories cannot be used for the population below 45 years of age, reported News18.This suggests that to vaccinate the population in the age bracket of 18-44 years, the state and UTs will have to procure vaccines on its own.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 28, 2021
Amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases in the country, the central government has decided to allow everyone above 18 years of age to get vaccinated from May 1.
From May 1, the present system of private COVID-19 vaccination centres receiving doses from the government and charging up to Rs 250 per dose from people will cease to exist and private hospitals will procure directly from vaccine manufacturers.
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.
According to the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, vaccination will continue to be free at government vaccination centres that receive doses from the Centre for eligible population groups comprising healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above 45 years of age.
(With inputs from PTI)