The central government will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone above the age of 18 years from June 21. (Representative image)
More than 30.39 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on June 20, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 28 crore.
On the 156th day of the vaccination drive on June 20, 27.62 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 2.77 lakh people were given their second dose.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains unchanged.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, with healthcare workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs. The country began the second phase of the vaccination drive from March 1 in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities could start getting the vaccine.
From April 1, vaccination was opened for everyone above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities.
India rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-44 age group on May 1.
The central government has 'liberalised' the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals, and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers. However, later it announced to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone above the age of 18 years from June 21. The new COVID-19 vaccination policy is a significant shift from the government's 'liberalised and accelerated' policy, announced earlier.
Registration on CoWIN platform for the third phase began on April 28 and is mandatory for the 18-44 age group.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
Andhra Pradesh achieved a unique feat on June 20, vaccinating over 12.56 lakh people under the Mega COVID-19 vaccination drive that the health authorities hope could be a record in any one province in the world. By 6 pm, a total of 12,56,215 people were administered the coronavirus vaccine in the state.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on the day that all people above 45 years in Jammu and Kashmir will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this month. According to a Personnel Ministry statement, the minister has been informed that with the Centre's 'free vaccine for all' impetus to the countrywide vaccination drive from June 21, over 30 per cent of beneficiaries in the 18 to 45 years age group in Jammu and Kashmir would receive anti-coronavirus vaccines.
The Delhi government said it received the Centre's communication about walk-in vaccination for people above 18 years on the day and plans for it will be made accordingly. The Union Health Ministry on June 15 had said that anyone aged 18 and above can walk in to the nearest vaccination centre to get registered on the CoWIN digital platform and get inoculated against COVID-19.
The Delhi Metro will organise more vaccination camps at construction sites for its workers for their inoculation against COVID-19, officials said on the day. The DMRC is already conducting an awareness campaign at various project sites to tell the benefits of vaccination to workers.
A mega anti-COVID vaccination drive will be conducted in Haryana on the International Yoga Day on June 21, the state's Health Minister Anil Vij has said. A target has been set to vaccinate 2.5 lakh people during this inoculation drive, Vij told reporters in Ambala on the day.
BJP MP Gautam Gambhir launched a drive for administering COVID-19 vaccines to slum dwellers in East Delhi constituency on the day. The drive began at Shashi Garden slum cluster in East Delhi's Mayur Vihar.
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) said on the day that it held a global campaign to press for patent-free vaccines and medicines for COVID-19, joining hands with organisations of workers, farmers, small traders and more.Here's the vaccination count for some states:
|Himachal Pradesh|| 28,19,334|
|Madhya Pradesh|| 1,50,11,955|
|Tamil Nadu|| 1,26,80,121|