Over 19.5L COVID-19 vaccinations, 348 AEFIs so far; Delhi heading to 'herd immunity', suggests sero-survey

India recorded the lowest number of coronavirus fatalities in over eight months, with 131 deaths being reported on Monday, the health ministry said

FP Staff January 25, 2021 23:59:08 IST
Over 19.5L COVID-19 vaccinations, 348 AEFIs so far; Delhi heading to 'herd immunity', suggests sero-survey

Representational image. AP

The number of beneficiaries vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country crossed 19.5 lakh as of Monday evening, which was the 10th day of the nationwide immunisation drive, the health ministry said.

A total of 19,50,183 beneficiaries were inoculated in 35,785 sessions till 7.10 pm on Monday including 3,34,679 in 7,171 sessions during the day, the ministry said. It added that the final report will be compiled later on Monday night.

A total of 348 adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) were reported till 7.10 pm. "The countrywide COVID-19 vaccination programme was conducted successfully on the 10th day in the states and Union territories," the ministry said.

The total number of beneficiaries vaccinated till 7.10 pm on Monday since the drive was rolled out includes 2,30,119 in Karnataka, 1,55,453 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,21,615 in West Bengal, 91,110 in Gujarat, 88,200 in Bihar, 71,976 in Kerala, 68,916 in Tamil Nadu, 56,586 in Madhya Pradesh and 33,219 in Delhi, according to the provisional report.

This, as India recorded the lowest number of coronavirus fatalities in over eight months with 131 more deaths being recorded, the health ministry said on Monday.

The COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,06,67,736 with 13,203 more infections. There are 1,84,182 active cases, which is 1.73 percent of the caseload and it remained below 2 lakh for the sixth consecutive day, according to the ministry data.

'Check vaccine rumours'

Faced with the problem of rumours about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, the Centre has asked the states to check the spread of such misinformation and advised them to take penal action against those who are found to be involved in dissemination of wrong and ill-informed news.

In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and UTs, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla also emphasised that the National Regulatory Authority in the country has found that the two vaccines — Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, developed and manufactured by the Bharat Biotech Limited — were safe and immunogenic.

The Centre, in close collaboration with the state governments and UT administrations, has launched the inoculation drive of COVID-19 vaccination from 16 January across the country with the two vaccines.

The Union home secretary said healthcare workers and frontline workers are being inoculated as per the priority decided by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), and subsequently the priority groups 2 and 3 will be vaccinated.

"I would like to strongly emphasise that the National Regulatory Authority in the country has found both the vaccines safe and immunogenic. However, it has been reported that unfounded and misleading rumours are circulating on social and other media, creating doubt about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines.

"Such kind of rumour mongering, particularly by vested interests, can create unwarranted doubts among people at large, and there is, therefore, a need to check all such kinds of unfounded scare mongering relating to the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccines,” the communication said.

Urging the states and UTs to put in place an appropriate mechanism to check the spread of such ill-informed rumours, Bhalla asked the chief secretaries to direct all the authorities concerned to take appropriate necessary measures to counter the spread of all "false information" about COVID-19 vaccines, and promptly disseminate factual messages.

"Further, penal action may be taken against the person/s or organisation/s who is/ are found to have indulged in such activities, under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act. 2005 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860," he said.

Delhi could be heading towards ''herd immunity'', indicates latest sero-survey

The outcome of the fifth round of sero-prevalence survey in the National Capital has indicated that Delhi population could be heading towards attaining herd immunity against coronavirus infection, PTI quoted sources as saying on Monday. The survey has found that in one district, 50-60 percent of the sampled population has developed antibodies to COVID-19 , they said.

For the survey, which ended a few days ago, samples of over 25,000 people from various districts across the city were collected, the sources said. Delhi's population is over two crore, spread across 11 districts.

"In one district, the sero-prevalence rate is between 50-60 percent, indicating a large number of people have developed antibodies, so we can say the city is moving towards attaining herd immunity," the PTI report added, without mentioning the name of the district.

Experts say herd immunity is said to have been developed in a population segment if 50-60 percent of those are found to have the presence of antibodies in a sero-prevalence survey.

Herd immunity implies that in any set of people in a community, after becoming affected by the virus, a lot many of them become immune to it, on account of antibodies developed in response to it. And, hence, such people become a protective layer between the infected person and unaffected people, thereby breaking the chain of viral transmission.

Negative RT-PCR report must to attend Haridwar's Kumbh Mela

Devotees who wish to attend the forthcoming Kumbh Mela must bring a COVID-19 negative RT-PCR test report, according to a standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Centre for holding the religious congregation.

The RT-PCR test must be conducted within 72 hrs of the date of the visit, stated the document by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Uttarakhand government shall ensure that healthcare and other frontline workers engaged during Kumbh Mela medical and public health operations are vaccinated on priority. Only vaccinated healthcare and other frontline workers be deputed for Kumbh Mela duties, it said.

As far as possible, people must maintain a six-feet distance in public places and wear masks, the SOP stated, while the authorities have been directed to ensure the devotees adhere to COVID-appropriate behaviour during the Kumbh.

"Mask dispensing kiosks at government-approved rates may be set up at entry points and parking lots. Provision should be kept for distribution of free masks to those who cannot afford them, it said. Enforcement agencies should levy penalties on defaulters for not wearing masks or face covers or for not following physical distancing norms," the SOP stated.

Those aged more than 65 years, pregnant women, children below the age of 10, those with underlying comorbid conditions such should be discouraged to attend the Kumbh Mela, it said.

Devotees visiting the Kumbh Mela must register with the Uttarakhand government and obtain a compulsory medical certificate from the nearest community Health centre district hospital and medical college in their state.

The Kumbh Mela administration should identify spatial boundaries of the fair ground keeping in view the physical distancing requirements and prepare a detailed site plan which would facilitate compliance with thermal screening, physical distancing and sanitization. The Kumbh Mela administration should make arrangements for adequate ambulances and build a temporary hospital with 1,000 beds which can be being expanded to 2,000 beds, the statement said.

The likely dates for the event are from 27 February to 30 April. It is expected that about 10 lakh people will attend the fair on a normal day and about 50 lakh people will attend the mela on auspicious days.

Moderna will test booster dose for virus variant

Moderna on Monday said its COVID-19 vaccine protects against worrisome emerging variants of the coronavirus but it is taking the precaution of testing a possible booster dose against the strain discovered in South Africa.

In Monday's announcement, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the move was out of “an abundance of caution” after preliminary lab tests suggested its shot produced a weaker immune response to that variant.

Vaccine manufacturers have been testing their shots against the mutated strains including two that first emerged in Britain and South Africa.

In a study conducted with the National Institutes of Health, Moderna used blood samples from eight vaccine recipients, and some immunized monkeys, in laboratory tests against the mutated viruses.

The vaccine was effective against both variants but researchers found a six-fold drop in levels of “neutralizing antibodies” against the strain from South Africa. Moderna said while the levels still were protective, it has begun developing a booster vaccine targeted to that new strain, called the B.1.351 variant. In addition, Moderna will test if simply giving an extra dose of the original vaccine could be helpful.

Pfizer, which makes a similar COVID-19 vaccine, has previously reported that its shot also appears effective against the strain from Britain. But other research has raised questions about the variant from South Africa.

COVID caseload rises

The COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,06,67,736 with 13,203 more infections. There are 1,84,182 active cases, which is 1.73 percent of the caseload and it remained below 2 lakh for the sixth consecutive day, according to the ministry data.

As many as 1,03,30,084 people have recuperated, taking the recovery rate to 96.83 percent.

The fatality rate rose to 1.4 percent and 131 more deaths include 45 from Maharashtra, 20 from Kerala, nine from Delhi and eight each from Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 1,53,470 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 50,785 from Maharashtra, followed by 12,316 in Tamil Nadu, 12,197 in Karnataka, 10,808 in Delhi, 10,115 in West Bengal, 8,617 in Uttar Pradesh and 7,147 in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the ICMR, 19.23 crore tests have been conducted so far with 5,70,246 samples being tested on Sunday.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

India records 14,264 new COVID-19 cases; daily figure registers rise for fourth straight day
India

India records 14,264 new COVID-19 cases; daily figure registers rise for fourth straight day

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,06,89,715, which translates to a national recovery rate of 97.25 percent

India reports 16,738 COVID-19 infections in past 24 hours; highest since 29 January
India

India reports 16,738 COVID-19 infections in past 24 hours; highest since 29 January

The COVID-19 toll increased to 1,56,705 on Thursday with 138 daily new fatalities. The daily deaths crossed 130 after a gap of 26 days

Coronavirus outbreak: Over 77.66 lakh healthcare and frontline workers vaccinated, says Centre
India

Coronavirus outbreak: Over 77.66 lakh healthcare and frontline workers vaccinated, says Centre

'A total 2,61,309 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm on Friday across 35 states and UTs. These include 50,837 HCWs and 2,10,472 FLWs,' said the health ministry