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Economic Survey 2022: COVID-19 vaccination rate grew four-fold in 7 months

As India continues to raise the COVID-19 vaccination coverage in a bid to minimise the loss of lives due to coronavirus infection, the latest economic survey report notes the remarkable achievement of the inoculation campaign launched on January 16, 2021.

January 31, 2022 / 01:53 PM IST
Booster doses of COVID19 vaccine for frontline workers, healthcare workers and senior citizens over 60 with underlying conditions, at PHC Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar.

Booster doses of COVID19 vaccine for frontline workers, healthcare workers and senior citizens over 60 with underlying conditions, at PHC Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar.

The Economic Survey report 2022-23, tabled in the Parliament on January 31, noted the remarkable ramping up of COVID-19 vaccination programme; the daily inoculation rate grew four-fold between May 2021 to January 2022.

The Economic Survey report said that, while the average daily vaccination against coronavirus was 19.3 lakh in May 2021, it rose to 75.4 lakh on an average everyday on January 16, 2022.

As per the report, 99 percent of the registered health care workers and 100 per cent of the front-line workers, 87 percent of the population aged between 18- 44 years, 95 percent of the population aged between 45-60 years and 89 percent of the population above 60 years have now been covered under the first dose.

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“Vaccination drive continues to gather speed and breadth with the number of days taken to achieve an additional 10 crore doses reducing significantly from 86 days during the initial phase to 15 days now,” it said.

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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The report also noted that inoculation against COVID-19 has has played a critical role in minimising loss of lives, boosting confidence in the economy towards resumption of activity and containing the sequential decline in output due to the coronavirus second wave.

As India completed one year of its COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th January, 2022, it crossed the historic milestone of administering more than 156 crore doses of vaccine, said the report tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, adding that more than 88 crore people (93 per cent of the adult population) have received at least one dose of which around 66 crore people or 70 per cent of the adult population now stand fully vaccinated.

With vaccination drive further extended to the age group of 15-18 years starting January 3, 2022, more than 50 per cent of India’s population in this age group have received their first dose of the vaccine as on January 19, it also said even as the second dose of vaccination started for this age group.

Sumi Sukanya Dutta
first published: Jan 31, 2022 01:53 pm