Healthcare workers carry Covishield vaccine, a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, to inoculate villagers during a door-to-door vaccination and testing drive at Uttar Batora Island in Howrah district in West Bengal. (Representative image: Reuters)
More than 42.67 lakh vaccine doses were administered in India on July 23, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 42.78 crores.
On the 189th day of the vaccination drive on July 23, 27.25 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 15.42 lakh people were given their second dose.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, 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 aged 45 and above 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:
- More than 2.75 crore balance and unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states, union territories and private hospitals to be administered, the Union Health Ministry said on July 23. Over 43.87 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through all sources and a further 71,40,000 doses are in the pipeline, it said.
- The Centre told the Lok Sabha on the day that no fixed timeline can be indicated now for the completion of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country in view of the dynamic and evolving nature of the pandemic but it is expected all beneficiaries aged 18 years and above will be inoculated by December this year.
- The Tamil Nadu government said on the day that it would soon commence its free vaccination drive at private health care facilities that will receive funds for the vaccines from corporates under the CSR initiative. Those hospitals providing vaccines free of cost would place a board in front of their facility, informing the public of the initiative, to enable them receive the jabs, minister for medical and family welfare Ma Subramanian said after chairing a meeting with hospitals and corporates of Chennai and neighbouring districts.
- A team of central government officials is in continuous dialogue with foreign Covid vaccine manufactures like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson to discuss and address various issues, including indemnity, the Lok Sabha was informed on the day. Providing the present status of discussions with pharma companies like Pfizer and Moderna over giving them indemnity against cost of compensation for adverse effects due to vaccination, Union Minister Bharati Pravin Pawar in a written reply said the government constituted the team on June 11 to deal with various issues related to procurement of COVID-19 vaccine from foreign manufacturers.Here's the vaccination count for some states: