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COVID-19 vaccination drive: States receive additional Covishield doses

These additional COVID-19 vaccine doses are seen as critical to complete inoculation of healthcare and frontline workers as part of phase-1 of the nationwide vaccination exercise.

January 21, 2021 / 08:16 AM IST
Representative image: Reuters

Representative image: Reuters

Multiple states received additional doses of the Covishield – the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) – on January 20 as the nationwide vaccination drive picks up pace.

These additional doses are necessary to complete inoculation of healthcare and frontline workers as part of phase-1 of the vaccination exercise.

While a consignment of seven lakh doses reached the Kolkata airport on January 20, Kerala received 3.6 lakh more doses of Covishield. A massive consignment of 5.5 lakh also reached Jaipur, Rajasthan.

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On the same day, Tamil Nadu received 5.8 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses manufactured by the Serum Institute in Pune, Maharashtra. Authorities in Haryana received 2.1 lakh more doses of the jab.

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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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Uttarakhand is expected to get 92,000 more Covishield doses this week, The Hindustan Times reported. About 48,000 doses reached Imphal, Manipur on January 20.

Read: Status check on COVID-19 vaccines in pipeline for India over next six months

As of January 20, India had reported more than 1.05 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases. The death toll from the outbreak in the country stood at over 1.52 lakh. While more than 1.02 crore patients had recovered, 1.97 lakh cases remained ‘active’. Globally, more than 9.62 crore individuals have been infected by the virus and over 20.62 lakh people have died so far.

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

A speedy rollout of vaccines is being seen as the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 and restore normalcy in the pandemic-battered global economy. Many countries have already vaccinated a large number of people from high-risk groups.

Besides Covishield, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for restricted emergency use. Beneficiaries will not be able to choose between the two jabs. However, many have raised apprehensions about Covaxin as it is still in a phase-3 clinical trial.

Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 21, 2021 08:16 am

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