It’s been almost a year since the first case of COVID 19 was reported in the country. Around one crore people have effectively recovered from the pandemic while almost one and a half lakh lost their lives to it. The government has taken diverse measures to bring the pandemic under control but the high contagiousness of the virus made it hard for them to repress its spread. Countries and organizations around the globe were actively engaged in developing COVID 19 vaccines since its inception in China. Russia was the first country to successfully conduct the trials and roll out the vaccine for its public.
India on its way to mass vaccinating the country has approved two different vaccines; COVISHILED, a variant of AZD1222 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca manufactured by Serum Institute of India and COVAXIN, manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), making them India’s first vaccines against the pandemic. Drug Control General of India (DCGI) VG Somani has granted permission for the restricted use of the vaccines and has confirmed the effectiveness of the vaccines on their trial runs. He said that “We’ll never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 110 per cent safe” and also added that the COVISHIELD was found to have an efficiency rate of 70.42 per cent. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has reviewed Bharat Biotech’s data on “safety and immunogenicity” and gave permission for “restricted use in an emergency situation in the public interest” and has also recommended an accelerated approval of the request to Bharat Biotech International for phase-III trials of COVAXIN. The approval was given after India conducted a dry run across its states and union territories on Saturday as part of rehearsing the massive vaccination drive.
The Government is planning to vaccinate one crore healthcare workers belonging to both the private and public service sector as the initial step of the vaccination process. A digital platform named CoWIN has been introduced by the government, which will serve as a centralised system to record all details about the people to be vaccinated and helps in scaling and processing the vaccination drive. The second round of the vaccination drive will see the frontline and municipal workers of state and central service departments getting vaccinated. Using the latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative assembly elections, people above 50 years of age will be identified and will form the third round of vaccination drive. People belonging to the geographical areas where the COVID infection is highly prevalent and people from high populated areas will also be vaccinated. The introduction of the COVID vaccines will be an added armour in India’s fight against the pandemic and the first step in bringing the country and its people back to normal life.