India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive started on Jan 16, 2021. From May 1, 2021, all people older than 18 years are eligible for the 4 phase-vaccination drive. By September 13, 2021, 588 million people in India (about 42.8% of the population) had received the first dose of the vaccine, and only 164 million people (about 13.63% of the population) had received the second dose.
India has three vaccines Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Covaxin, by Bharat Biotech, and Sputnik V, by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology which is approved for emergency use.
According to the Indian Council of Medical and Research(ICMR), Bharat biotech’s Covaxin has shown the efficacy of 78%-81%, while Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine has an efficacy rate of 70.4%-90% as per Oxford University, and finally, Sputnik V recently approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has an efficacy rate of 91.6%.
As per the latest reports from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), 53.6% of the population of the US are fully vaccinated and 62.9% have at least one dose of the vaccine.
The US has authorized three Covid-19 vaccines namely, Pfizer-BioNTech’s Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson.
Pfizer and Moderna have reportedly shown the efficacy of 95% and 94% respectively, where Johnson and Johnson have 66% efficacy.
In India, variants of interest such as B.1.617 (Delta) and B.1.618 (Delta plus) have emerged which are spreading quickly across the world and are now present in 170 countries.
Another study carried out in the UK found that the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, which has been administered to the majority of the vaccine recipients in India and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, offers considerable protection against the Delta variant. But the question arises: Does India need a Covid-19 booster?