Tika Utsav: COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently appealed to the Chief Ministers of the States to organise “Tika Utsav”.

What is Tika Utsav?

Tika Utsav is a vaccine festival. It is to be held between April 11, 2021 and April 14, 2021. The main objective of the festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible. It will also focus on zero wastage of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccination Drive in India

  • Currently, three states are receiving maximum number of COVID-19 doses. They are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
  • COVAXIN and COVISHIELD are the two major COVID-19 vaccines that are currently administered in India.
  • So far, India has shipped 64 million doses of vaccines to 84 countries in Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The major recipient countries of the Indian COVID-19 vaccines are Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.
  • The GoI has planned to cover 250 million people included in “high priority” category by July 2021 under its vaccination programme.

COVAXIN

COVAXIN is a government backed vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech. It has an efficacy rate of 81%. More than 27,000 participants have participated in the phase three trials of COVAXIN vaccine. COVAXIN is given in two doses. The time gap between the doses is four weeks. The COVAXIN was prepared from the dead COVID-19 virus.

COVISHIELD

The COVISHIELD Vaccine is manufactured by Astra Zeneca. Locally, COVISHIELD is produced by Serum Institute of India. It was prepared from a weakened version of a common cold virus called Adenovirus from Chimpanzees. The virus has been modified to look more like COVID-19 virus. It is administered in two doses.

Why did India stick to COVAXIN and COVISHIELD?

Unlike several other COVID-19 vaccines, COVAXIN and COVISHIELD can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Other COVID-19 vaccines like that of Moderna vaccine must be stored at minus seventy degrees Celsius temperature and can only be moved a limited number of times. Administering such vaccines in India is highly challenging as the summer temperatures in India reach fifty degrees Celsius.

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