This week India has achieved a great milestone with covid vaccine administration. On January 16th, 2021 the first Covid vaccine was given. Within 278 days India achieved its milestone by administering the Covid vaccine to one billion people! It means on average India administered 3.6 million doses per day!! While many countries are still struggling to convince their citizens to get vaccinated, in India vaccination is going on non-stop for the past 278 days. India’s goal is to fully vaccinate about a billion people by end of this year. Healthcare workers and Health officials worked hard to reach this milestone and India is celebrating these heroes.
India faced heavy criticism due to Covid related deaths during the second wave. The vaccination drive picked up fast after 46 days and the shortest time taken to complete 10 crores was just in 11 days. On September 17th a record of 2.5 crore doses was administered in a single day. On October 22nd India achieved its milestone by administering 100 crore vaccines.
After China which has administered more than 200 crore doses, India is the only second country that has reached this milestone with more than 100 crore jabs and the graph is rising steeply. According to a Government source, almost 75% of the eligible population has taken at least the first vaccination dose, eight states, and Union Territories achieving 10% coverage of the first dose.
“This achievement belongs to India, every citizen of India,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. “I express my gratitude to all the vaccine manufacturing companies of the country, workers engaged in vaccine transportation, health sector professionals engaged in vaccine development.”
Which vaccines are approved in India?
Total seven vaccines are approved for use in India. However, currently the two vaccines Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation manufactured by Serum Institute of India ) and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR, NIV are available. Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine containing viruses whose genetic material has been chemically treated not to replicate but to trigger the immune response. Covishield is an adenovirus vectored vaccine, adenoviruses are common viruses that cause flu or cold-like symptoms. Adenovirus vector vaccines are modified as a Trojan horse to deliver the genetic instruction of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that produces spike-like protein thereby creating an immune response.
Data from phase 3 trials of Covaxin shows that it is 78% effective against the virus and 100% effective against progression to severe disease. Whereas Covishield is 63% efficient and studies show Covishield is also effective against B.1.1.7 and B.1.617 variants.
It takes 2-3 weeks after completing the entire vaccination schedule to get an adequate immune response from both these vaccines from India. As per the Health ministry, the longer the gap between two doses, the more robust the immune response! One should take the same vaccine in both doses.
Other vaccinations that are approved and not yet administered in India are ZycoV-D – DNA vaccine, Sputnik V – non replicating viral vector, Ad26.Cov2.S (of Johnson & Johnson), Moderna (mRNA -1273). There are more vaccinations are in trial and are expected to be released in another 3-4 months.
Why it is important to get vaccinated?
- By being fully vaccinated, one can resume the pre-covid life and normal activities
- Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including variants.
- Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against any variants.
- Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from variants appear to be infectious for a shorter period.
Get vaccinated and take necessary precautions to protect your life and lives of those who around you.
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_COVID-19_Vaccination_Certificate.jpg, KhojKaBojh, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:COVID-19_vaccination_in_Jalandhar.jpg; Sarabjit Singh (Tribune India), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: October 25, 2021