India rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-45 age group on May 1. (Representative image)
More than 20.23 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on May 8, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report.
With that, over 16.94 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far. On May 8, 8.37 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 11.85 lakh people were given their second dose. This included healthcare and frontline workers, people aged over 60 and beneficiaries above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities.
The government had earlier revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, to six-eight 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.
The country rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-45 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.
Registration on CoWIN platform for the third phase began on April 28.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
> The number of COVID-19 vaccination centres will be increased three times in Delhi, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 8. Currently, vaccination is going on at 100 centres in Delhi. The number of centres will be increased to 250-300 by the Delhi government, he said in an online briefing. He also demanded that the Centre supply around 2.6 crore more vaccine doses for inoculation of all people in the national capital in the next three months.
> A massive coronavirus vaccination drive will be initiated for 18-44 years age group in Uttar Pradesh from May 10, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the day. He said the drive will be conducted in Aligarh, Agra, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Bareilly, Meerut, Moradabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Saharanpur, Firozabad, Mathura-Vrindavan, Ayodhya and Shahjahanpur municipal corporations and Gautam Buddh Nagar.
> More than 84 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories and over 53 lakh doses will be distributed to them in the next three days, the Centre said on the day. In an official statement, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that so far over 17.49 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs, out of which around 16.7 crore doses have been consumed.
> Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on the day that his government will consider importing COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that people in the state are inoculated against the viral disease at the earliest. Speaking at a high-level meeting held to review the COVID-19 situation in the state, the chief minister stressed the need to accelerate the pace of vaccination to stem the spread of the pandemic and bring down the fatality rate.
> Indian Test team's vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and senior pacer Umesh Yadav received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on the day.Here are the vaccination counts:
|Madhya Pradesh|| 85,95,188|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 1,35,93,961|