More than 1.82 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are available with states and union territories, and over 4 lakh will be received by them within the next three days, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.
The central government has so far provided, through the free of cost category and direct state procurement category, more than 22.77 crore vaccine doses to states and UTs.
Of these, the total consumption, including wastages is 20,80,09,397 doses, according to data available at 8 am on Saturday, the ministry said.
"More than 1.82 crore (1,82,21,403) COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. Furthermore, 4,86,180 vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the states and UTs within the next 3 days," the ministry said.
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.
As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Centre has been supporting the states and UTs by providing them Covid vaccines free of cost.
In addition, it has been facilitating direct procurement of vaccines by the states and UTs.
Vaccination is an integral pillar of the comprehensive strategy of Union government for containment and management of the pandemic, along with test, track, treat and Covid-appropriate behaviour, the ministry said.
Implementation of the liberalised and accelerated phase-3 strategy of Covid vaccination has started from May 1, it said.
Under the strategy, 50 percent of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccine doses of any manufacturer would be procured by the government of India every month.
It would continue to make these doses available to the states free of cost as was being done earlier, the ministry said.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.