The COVID-19 vaccination drive in India commenced on January 16. (Image: AP)
More than 12.05 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on October 17, taking the total number of jabs to over 97.79 crore, the Union Health Ministry said.
On the 275th day of the vaccination drive, 5.87 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 6.17 lakh their second dose.
After a slow start, India’s vaccination drive picked up over the last few weeks. It took the country 85 days to give the first 10 crore doses, the next 10 crore took 45 days and, in another 29 days, India touched the 30-crore mark.
The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 days to cross 50-crore doses on August 6. By September 13, 75 crore COVID-19 vaccines had been given. The biggest jump, however, came on September 17, when more than 2.1 crore doses were given in a day.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains unchanged at four weeks.
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 next phase of vaccination commenced on March 1 for people over 60 years and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. From April 1, the drive was expanded to include all aged 45 and above.
The government then decided to expand the vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.
Let's check out some major developments related to COVID-19 vaccination:
- Uttarakhand has administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to its entire eligible population three months ahead of target, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on October 17. He told a press conference that a total of 74 lakh people or 100 percent of the eligible population across the state have been administered with the first dose of the vaccine against coronavirus.
- The government will take a final decision on vaccinating children and adolescents against coronavirus on the basis of overall scientific rationale as well as the supply situation of vaccines available for those below 18 years old, COVID Task Force chief VK Paul said on the day. Paul, who has been playing a key role in the government's efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, also cautioned that even though infections are coming down and the second wave is subsiding, it will not be fair now to say that the worst is over since many countries have seen more than two waves.
- People in Manipur's Imphal West district will get a chance to win a television set, mobile phone or blankets if they take COVID-19 vaccine in the mega vaccination camp which will be held, officials said. To increase the vaccination coverage the Imphal West district administration has decided to hold a mega vaccination cum bumper draw programme with the slogan "Get a shot, win a prize" scheduled to be conducted at three centres in the district on October 24, October 31 and November 7, they said.
- Thousands of children returned to Sydney's schools on October 18 after nearly four months of home learning as Australia's largest city eased more restrictions just a week after lifting its COVID-19 lockdown amid a surge in vaccination levels.Here is the vaccination count for states/UTs
|Jammu and Kashmir|| 1,37,39,762|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 11,82,32,869|
|West Bengal|| 6,65,26,109|