In India, the Covid-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 95.82 crore on October 12, 2021.

Amid the pandemic where people are still witnessing the ongoing battle against Covid-19, WHO (World Health Organization) stepped forward to suggest that people with low immunity are supposed to be administered with an extra dose of vaccine since they are more vulnerable to contract infections post the standard immunization. 

With the view of promoting the Covid-19 vaccination drive in India, the government was in highlights in August, 2021, along with western vaccine developers to acquire tens of millions of doses. India was reportedly in talks to be eyeing on the acquisition of over 50 million doses of vaccine produced by Pfizer Incorporation and BioNTech SE.  

Sharing information on the additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine suggested by WHO, its vaccine Director Kate O’Brien gave a brief view saying that the idea of a third dose of vaccination is based on the proof evoking that the immunogenicity and evidence on “breakthrough infections is highly disproportionately represented by those people.” He brought into notice that around 3.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered. It is also reported that about one and a half billion doses are distributed around the world each month. 

In India, the Covid-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 95.82 crore on October 12, 2021. 

WHO South- East Asia regional Director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh congratulated India as the country crossed the vaccination coverage of 75 crore in September, 2021. She appreciated the fueled pace of vaccination in the country. “While it took 85 days to administer the first 100 million (10 crore) doses, India reached 750 million (75 crore) doses from 650 million (65 crore) in just 13 days.” 

Rajesh Bhushan, Indian Union Health Secretary announced on September 30, 2021, that the all-new DNA Zydus Cadila Covid-19 vaccine would be introduced in the national vaccination program by the government. On Gandhi Jayanti, i.e, on October 2, 2021, Pediatrician at Radix Healthcare Dr. Ravi Malik informed that children above 12 will start getting administered with Covid-19 vaccine by October, 2021. 

He stated that Zydus Cadila’s vaccine will be available to children above 12. He added that the latest ZyCoV-D vaccine is needle-free and will be administered in the children’s skin. There are 3 doses of vaccine required to be given to the kids with a gap of 28 days in between the doses. 

Dr. Malik portrayed the significance of giving vaccines to children saying that the virus is unpredictable in kids and they can develop “multisystem inflammatory syndrome” which can be treated only in ICU. He stated that unless kids are vaccinated, herd immunity won’t be reached. 

What is herd immunity?

Herd immunity is considered as a type of indirect protection from diseases which are contracted by infections, where diseases can occur in the circumstances of a large percentage of the population being immune to a particular infection. People who are immune do not transmit disease when they come into contact with other individuals, thereby breaking the chain of infection. Individuals can get themselves immune through vaccination too. 

It is anticipated that the pandemic can be put to an end through proper vaccination. Some of the experts believe that India is moving fast and getting closer to achieve herd immunity naturally. However, it is also reported that many individuals are still using vaccination as a method of achieving herd immunity. 

Dr. Priya Luthra, principal investigator in viral diseases research and translational science programme at Trudeau Institute in New York reported India Today that the recent observations invoke a rise in infections which are spread aggressively. She said that the best possible way to reach herd immunity is through vaccination.