A total of 1.8 crore beneficiaries have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in India so far, according to the Union Health Ministry's provisional report.
On March 4, the 48th day of the immunisation drive, over 13.88 lakh beneficiaries were vaccinated, the ministry said. Of these, 10.56 lakh beneficiaries were given the first shot of the two-dose regime. About 3.31 lakh healthcare and frontline workers received the second dose, the ministry added.
The second dose of COVID-19 vaccination started for beneficiaries who have completed 28 days since receiving the first shot. The emergency use approval granted by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) accords a window of four to six weeks for the second dose to be administered.
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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 has begun the second phase of the vaccination drive in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get the vaccine.
India’s drug regulator has approved two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) - for emergency use in the country.
Here are all developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine in India:
> Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a government hospital in Bhopal on March 4, an official said. Chouhan was given the first jab of Covishield vaccine at the state-run Hamidia Hospital, the public relation department official said. As per the protocol, Chouhan remained at the hospital after receiving the first jab for the designated time before returning to his official residence.
> The Election Commission started a COVID-19 vaccination drive for its officers and staff working at the Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi with former chief election commissioner MS Gill taking the first shot. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar will get vaccinated after all officials and staff of the commission are inoculated, an official statement said.
> Britain says it will receive 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that will be delivered from the Serum Institute, a company that was meant to be producing vaccines for the world's developing countries. The 10 million doses being shipped to the UK are part of a larger order of 100 million doses that was part of the UK's original deal for COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca.
> Karnataka government was mulling extending the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to the primary and community health centres to cover more people during the vaccination drive, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
> Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley thanked PM Modi for the supply of made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines, saying he made it possible for more than 40,000 people in Barbados and tens of thousands elsewhere to receive first dose of Covishield.Here is the state-wise vaccination count:
|Arunachal Pradesh|| 40,830|
|Madhya Pradesh|| 9,98,891|