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India’s Path to Immunization

India’s Path to Immunization

As the coronavirus spread across the globe, virtually nobody was immune. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a global pandemic and since then, the world has been trying to find ways to beat and overcome this deadly virus.

  1. Immunization: The best measure to control the outbreak of coronavirus
  2. Over the course of the pandemic various measures have been taken by the WHO to safeguard citizens across the globe. Frequent sanitization, maintaining good personal hygiene, wearing masks and practicing social distancing when at public places – have all been measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus. While we continue to take all precautionary measures, according to medical experts; vaccination is the number one way to tackle the outbreak of the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly recommended immunization through the process of vaccination  as a key mechanism in the fight against life-threatening Covid-19 by providing critical protection from serious impact of the virus like hospitalization and death.

  3. How many people have been vaccinated so far ?
  4. According to ‘Our World in Data’, a website that provides statistics regarding vaccinations, as of 16th September  2021, over 76 crore people have been vaccinated in India owing to the Covid-19 crisis. Out of 76 crore people, 18.4 crore people have been fully vaccinated (which includes the first as well as the second dose of vaccination). On a percentage level, about 13.2% of the population of India has been fully vaccinated so far.

  5. Why being vaccinated is important
  6. According to experts, vaccines trigger the body’s immune system, by boosting it, in order to protect an individual against subsequent infections. This helps to soften the impact of the infection in our body and safeguard us from serious and life-threatening impact of the virus.

    The following are the reasons why vaccination is necessary :

    • To help strengthen your immune system to recognize and fight the covid-19 virus.
    • To curb outbreaks as more and more people, get vaccinated.
    • To control the impact of the pandemic on social, medical and economic infrastructure of the country.

    It is the duty of every individual who is eligible for the vaccination to take the jab and ensure not just their own safety but also others in the larger community.

  7. What are the different vaccines that are available for Indians ?
  8. Currently, the vaccines that are available in India are :

    • Covishield – The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by SII.
    • Covaxin – It is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech of India in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV).
    • Sputnik V – Also known as the Russian Gam-COVID-Vac – was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be registered for use in any nation.
    • Johnson & Johnson – Manufactured and produced by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Company.

    All vaccines except for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are double-dose vaccines.

  9. Vaccination for kids: Trials underway
  10. As India surges ahead to aggressively vaccinate its people, vaccination trials have already begun for children. Companies like Bharat Biotech (in India) and Pfizer (internationally) have already commenced the trials in the country across age groups.

    • Covaxin: The DCGI has begun trials on children belonging to different age groups with Covaxin. The results of trials II/III have been successful. The Covaxin trials on children in India are being conducted at AIIMS Patna.
    • Zydus Cadila : An Ahmedabad based company has applied for license and is set to begin its trials on vaccination for children.
  11. Vaccination – a booster shot for the economy
  12. With an increase in the number of people getting vaccinated over time, workplaces in different sectors as well as the travel and tourism sectors are opening up. There are various protocols being followed with respect to the movement of people through public and/or private transport in different regions of India, depending on the current situation of the spread and containment of the Covid-19 virus in different states.

Conclusion :

As India moves towards opening up and inching closer towards normalcy, it is the responsibility of every individual to get vaccinated without any delay to ensure the safety of the entire community. The spread of the Covid-19 virus can be contained only when a large section of the population gets vaccinated and appropriate protocols are followed. So, let’s come together to create a healthier and safer nation.

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