The Apollo Hospitals Group, one of the largest vaccinators in the private sector, will administer 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by September, said a statement issued by the hospital chain's executive vice-chairperson Shobana Kamineni on May 27.
Apollo will ramp up it's immunisation programme in the coming days, Kamineni said, adding that Russia's Sputnik V, the third vaccine approved by India's drug regulator, would be available at Apollo's vaccination facilities from the second week of June.
"We are on track to complete 20 million Jabs by September 2021. We would like to thank the Union and state governments and the vaccine manufacturers of Covishield and Covaxin for their support. Sputnik, the third vaccine approved in India, will be available through the Apollo system from the second week of June," she said.
Kamineni also pointed out that Apollo has, till date, has administered "1 million vaccine doses across 80 locations" in the country.
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.
"We have prioritised frontline workers, high-risk population and corporate employees across the country," she said.
"We will further ramp up our immunisation program. We took 3 weeks to do the first million, in June we will do a million every week and double that in July," the top Apollo official added.Under the Centre's liberalised vaccination policy, the private sector hospitals have earned a crucial role as they can directly procure the doses from manufacturers and administer them to the eligible beneficiaries. The beneficiaries, however, need to register themselves for the jabs through the CoWin platform.