Everything you need to know about India’s vaccination drive
Today in a media briefing, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, warned about the worrisome situation of COVID-19 across the world. “Although cases of COVID-19 are declining in India, but it doesn’t mean that we should not be cautious of the deadly virus,” he said in the briefing.
Active cases continue to decline in India. As of now, there are over 2.2 lakh active cases in India. Similar numbers were witnessed last on June 30th. Since then, the number of active cases has been rising sharply and in September India witnessed the maximum number of coronavirus cases. And from September till date, the COVID cases in the country have continued to decline.
He further talked about India’s effort to make the vaccine.
“Both the vaccine, Covishield and Covaxin have established its safety and immunogenicity and are safe to use.”
He talked about the advancement of various vaccine which will be available in India soon. Following is the progress of the four vaccine –
- Zydus Cadila has passed the Phase 2 trials and DCGI has given the approval to conduct Phase 3 trials
- Sputnik V is a Russian vaccine, which is in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories. It has completed Phase 2 trials and Phase 3 trials are underway. Sputnik V will be manufactured in India
- Biological E is a Bangalore based company which is also in the vaccine race. It is under its Phase 1 trials and Phase 2 trials are expected to begin in March 2021
- Gennova is India’s only company which is making Messenger RNA base vaccine. Phase 1 trial of the vaccine has just begun in January 2021 and Phase 3 trials are expected to start in March 2021.
With regard to vaccine scenario around the world, The health ministry also stated the price of various vaccines around the world. Following are the price of various vaccine dose -
- Pfizer-BioNTech, which has been given emergency use authorisation in multiple countries, will cost around Rs 1,800 per dose
- Moderna will cost between the range of Rs 2,300 to 2,700
- Sinopharm is being valued at Rs 5,600 per dose
The important point to note here is that vaccine developed by Pfizer requires -70 degree Celsius temperature to store. Whereas almost all the other vaccines can be stored at refrigerator temperate of 2 to 8 degree Celsius.
World’s biggest vaccination drive to begin in India –
The government of India has already placed an order of 110 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India at the cost of Rs 200 per dose (excluding taxes). 55 lakh doses of Covaxin is being procured from Bharat Biotech at the cost of 295 per dose. Out of the 55 lakh doses, BBIL is providing 16.5 lakh doses of Covaxin free of cost to the Central government.
The drive is a sequential role out depending on the availability of the vaccine. As mentioned earlier by the government, the priority will be given to the healthcare workers working in the Public and Private sector, which is approximately 1 crore. Followed by front line workers and then people more than 50 years old and people with co-morbidities.
Cost of vaccination for healthcare workers and front line workers will be borne by the central government.
All the states have at least one state-level regional vaccine store. But there are many states which have more than one vaccine store like Uttar Pradesh has 9, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat has 4, Kerala has 3, J&K, Karnataka and Rajasthan has 2 stores respectively.
54,72,000 doses of Covishield have been received by the above-mentioned vaccine stores today. 100 per cent of the doses will be received by January 14th 2021. By 100 per cent we mean 110 crore doses from the Serum Institute and 55 lakh doses from Bharat Biotech.
Centre’s expectation from States/UTs
- All logistics to be ready for the vaccination roll out from January 16th
- Continuous oversight and personal involvement on the entire process of roll0out
- Special focus on communication activities and utilization of all types of channels to create an encouraging environment
There is a gap of 28 days between the 2 doses and the effectiveness of the vaccine begins after 14 days of the second dose. So the individuals who are getting the vaccine should not be careless just because they have gotten the vaccine. They will still have to adhere to the COVID rules put by the government.
Over 50 countries have started rolling out the vaccine, but India being one of the worst affected and with the 2nd highest population in the world, we should be more cautious.