Narrated by actor Manoj Bajpayee, 'The Vial-India’s Vaccine Story’ --- History TV18’s brand new documentary on the country’s incredible Covid-19 vaccine journey -- recounts the story of how India successfully developed, manufactured, and delivered the Covid-19 vaccine in record time.
Recalling the hurdles faced by India amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the documentary, "It was a huge challenge to provide a large country with a large population with vaccine from necessary time to time."
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"Even many prosperous countries of the world were unable to vaccinate more than 50-60% of their population," the Prime Minister added.
While sharing how the Covid-19 vaccine was circulated quickly but efficiently around the country, PM Modi said, "We took full advantage of technology because we didn't want to take any risk. And on the basis of that, we decided to train people even at the grassroots level."
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.
Covid-19 vaccine was launched in India in January 2021, less than 12 months of the virus outbreak.
The vaccine could only survive in sub-zero temperatures. At the onset of Covid itself, PM Modi and his team had assessed that the country would need to increase its cold chain store by 20-25 percent.
By December 6, 2020, India had 28,932 cold-chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, and 40,792 deep freezers sprawled across the country.
PM Modi stated that India is the only country globally that made the vaccination process through its platform Co-WIN easier for its citizens and provided information about the vaccination centres, booking slots and details about follow-ups.
Furthermore, once the vaccination drive began in full swing, 4 lakh common service centres were introduced throughout India which aided people to register themselves, according to the new documentary.