National Vaccination Day, COVID-19 vaccines
India’s massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, which was launched on January 16, 2021, was unparalleled for its scale and speed

National Vaccination Day: A lookback on India’s COVID-19 immunisation drive

Even as India is witnessing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, the country has completed administering 220.64 crore doses of COVID vaccines to date, said the health ministry website.

India’s massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, which was launched on January 16, 2021, was unparalleled for its scale and speed. The country, which already was producing about 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines, came to be recognised as a reckoning force in the global fight against the coronavirus. Vaccines made in India were easier to transport and cheaper, than the ones made in the US and Europe and was more suitable for countries in the developing world.

India currently has indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccines and the ones developed by international companies available for public use. These vaccines have different efficacy rates but they have undergone stringent testing before being approved by the regulatory authority.

Also read: India logs 754 new COVID cases in a day

Here is a list of COVID-19 vaccines used in India:

Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech along with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), was given emergency use authorisation and is also part of the country’s vaccination programme. It is administered in two doses, with a gap of four weeks between the doses. The effectiveness of Covaxin was found to be 78-81 per cent and it has been approved in 14 countries.

Covishield, the other popular vaccine in India, and part of India’s vaccination programme, is  manufactured by the Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII). This two-dose vaccine was used around the globe and in India. Covishield’s effectiveness was found to be 90 per cent and approved in 49 countries.

Sputnik V developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and imported by Dr Reddy’s Lab, has an interval gap of 21 days between the two doses. It has been approved by 74 countries.

Covovax, also known as Novavax, is a highly-effective protein-based Covid-19 vaccine, with more than 90 per cent efficacy rate, according to Pune-based SII, who produces the vaccine under license from US-based vaccine maker Novavax Inc, an American biotechnology company. The age criteria for Covovax (Novavax) vaccine is 12 years of age.

Also read: Single-day rise of 524 Covid cases in India amid spike in influenza cases; Centre writes to states

Covid-19 vaccines for children

ZyCoV-D by Cadila healthcare limited, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, CorBEvax
by Biological E Ltd and Covovax by Serum Institute of India Ltd have received
emergency used authorisation by national regulator, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), for the use of these vaccines for children.

In February 2022, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Biological E Ltd’s CorBEvax for restricted use in emergency situations for citizens in the age group of 12 to 18.

The ZyCoV-D vaccine developed by the Indian pharmaceutical company Cadila Healthcare Limited is administered in three doses. The age criteria for the ZyCoV-D vaccine is 12 years of age and older. It has received emergency use authorisation from the Indian regulatory authority.

Also read: Do COVID-19 vaccines disrupt menstrual cycle or affect fertility?

Nasal spray

Bharat Biotech has developed a nasal vaccine for COVID-19 called the BBV154-Intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC). The iNVOCACC vaccine is administered through the nose in two separate doses. The government of India approved this vaccine, which is available at government and private hospitals, and is meant only for people over the age of 18.

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