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Maharashtra government to float global tender for COVID-19 vaccine: Ajit Pawar

Pawar was speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with senior officials to review the COVID-19 situation in Pune.

April 24, 2021 / 08:16 PM IST
COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine


Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday announced that the state government will float a global tender for the COVID-19 vaccine and

remdesivir injections.

Pawar was speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with senior officials to review the COVID-19 situation in Pune.

The Union government has allowed vaccination for people in the age group of 18 to 45 and the state will commence immunisation for them from May 1, he said.

"We have decided to float a global tender for COVID-19 vaccines and remdesivir under a committee, which will be headed by chief secretary Sitaram Kunte," the deputy chief minister said.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey has discussed the details of the vaccine with CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawala, he said.

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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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"We will also ensure that the state receives vaccines
from foreign manufacturers with the coordination and support

from the Union government," he said.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI

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