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COVID-19 vaccines donated by India earlier this year for UN peacekeepers exhausted : UN spokesperson

.External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had announced in February that India will gift 2,00,000 COVID-19 doses for UN peacekeepers.

September 18, 2021 / 08:06 AM IST
Representative picture: AFP

Representative picture: AFP

The stock of COVID-19 vaccines donated by India earlier this year for UN peacekeepers has been exhausted, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Stphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at the daily press briefing on Friday that the UN received a donation of 3,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Government of China. "The donation comes at a very important time, following exhaustion of the vaccine stocks donated by the Government of India in March this year," Dujarric said.

 

India, one of the largest troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions, had gifted 2,00,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for UN peacekeepers across all UN missions. The 2,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were shipped from India for distribution for UN peacekeepers in March.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had announced in February that India will gift 2,00,000 COVID-19 doses for UN peacekeepers.

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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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"Keeping in mind the UN Peacekeepers who operate in such difficult circumstances, we would like to announce today a gift of 2,00,000 doses for them," Jaishankar had said while addressing the UN Security Council open debate on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020) on the cessation of hostilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vaccine from China, manufactured by SinoPharm, was granted World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing earlier this year and will be distributed to UN personnel and peacekeepers through the UN system-wide COVID-19 vaccination programme.

"The donation, including the 18-month shelf life of the vaccine, will provide for the continuation of the programme, and support the UN's efforts to reach all UN personnel, peacekeepers, and implementing partners who have stayed to deliver on our critical mandates throughout this pandemic," Dujarric said.
PTI
first published: Sep 18, 2021 08:06 am

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