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Health Ministry to stop procuring fresh COVID-19 vaccines, surrenders Rs 4,237 crore from vaccination budget

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 219.32 crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to beneficiaries across the country so far.

October 16, 2022 / 06:41 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The Government of India's COVID-19 vaccination programme is in its final leg with the Health Ministry deciding against procuring more vaccines as of now and surrendering Rs 4,237 crore, or nearly 85 percent of the 2022-23 budget allocation for inoculation purposes, to the Finance Ministry.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 219.32 crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to beneficiaries across the country so far. The COVID-19 vaccination drive kicked off on January 16 last year.

With 2,401 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally now stands at 4,46,28,828; the number of active coronavirus cases in the country has gone up to 26,625, the Union Health Ministry said on October 16. The death toll due to the viral disease has risen to 5,28,895 with 21 more fatalities, including 16 reconciled by Kerala, according to the ministry's data updated at 8 am. The active cases account for 0.06 percent of the total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has gone up to 98.76 percent, the ministry said.

An increase of seven cases was recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours, it added. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.04 percent. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 1.05 percent, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has gone up to 4,40,73,308, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.19 percent.

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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India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20 lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 2020, 40 lakh on September 5, 2020 and 50 lakh on September 16, 2020. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 2020, 70 lakh on October 11, 2020, 80 lakh on October 29, 2020, 90 lakh on November 20, 2020, and the one-crore mark on December 19, 2020.

The country crossed the grim milestone of two crore coronavirus cases on May 4, 2021, the three-crore mark on June 23, 2021, and four crore cases on January 25 this year.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here

(With PTI inputs)
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