The vaccines being used for immunisation in the country - Serum Institute-manufactured Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin - both require two doses to be administered to the beneficiaries.
More than 82 lakh beneficiaries have received first doses of coronavirus vaccine.
Coronavirus vaccination in India: Over 23,000 healthcare workers receive second shot of vaccine! More than 82 lakh beneficiaries have received first doses of coronavirus vaccine after the drive began mid-January and now, the healthcare workers in the country have begun getting second doses of the vaccine. The drive to administer the second dose of the vaccine began on Saturday, because it marked 28 days since the first day of vaccination in India. The vaccines being used for immunisation in the country – Serum Institute-manufactured Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – both require two doses to be administered to the beneficiaries but these doses should be at least 28 days apart. Accordingly, on Saturday, as many as 23,628 healthcare workers received the second dose of coronavirus vaccine.
The beneficiaries who received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday were among the two lakh beneficiaries that received the first dose on Day 1 of the mass immunisation drive back in January. However, it is not necessary that the second dose has to be administered on the 28th day itself. The vaccine would be effective if the second dose is administered anytime between four and six weeks after the first dose.
According to the data shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as on Sunday, as many as 25 states and UTs had begun the administration of a second dose of vaccines, including Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. The data further revealed that the highest number of second doses were administered by Andhra Pradesh, at 5,820, followed by Telangana (3,273), West Bengal (2,345), Assam (2,215) and Jharkhand (1,873). Among the states and UTs that did not begin administering a second dose of vaccination are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Furthermore, since no state or UT undertakes the vaccination drive on Sunday, according to information shared by the Centre, the next round of data regarding the second dose of vaccination would be available after the Monday vaccination sessions end.
The ministry, in its FAQs and information brochure has mentioned that the full benefit of the vaccine only occurs when the entire vaccine schedule of two doses is received by the beneficiary, because the antibodies against COVID-19 begin developing among the beneficiaries about two weeks after the second dose is administered. This is also why Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while launching the immunization drive in January, had urged beneficiaries to complete the vaccine schedule.
The vaccination drive has been planned keeping in mind that every beneficiary should receive two doses of the same vaccine, and therefore, each vaccination session site receives only one kind of vaccine. The data for the entire drive is being mapped on the CoWIN app developed by the Centre, and the vaccination officials have been trained to update this information on a daily basis, including marking when a beneficiary has received the first dose. Once the information about completion of first dose is keyed into the CoWIN app, the beneficiary gets an SMS regarding the date and time for their second dose, and once the second dose is also received, the beneficiary gets an SMS confirming the completion of the vaccine schedule and a link for the QR code-based vaccination certificate is included in the message for proof wherever required.