The COVID-19 vaccination drive in India commenced on January 16. (Image: AP)
As many as 21,54,170 doses of coronavirus vaccines were administered in India on March 27, Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report has said, even as infections continue to spike in the country.
With this, more than six crore beneficiaries have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in the country so far. On March 27, 20,09,805 beneficiaries were given the first shot, while 1,44,365 healthcare and frontline workers received their second doses, the report said.
The second dose is being given to those who have completed 28 days after receiving the first shot. The emergency use approval granted by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) allows four-six weeks for the second dose to be administered.
The government recently revised the gap for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, to six-eight weeks but the interval for 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 can get the vaccine. From April 1, vaccination will be open to everyone above the age of 45.
Here are all developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine in India:
> Over 37,000 beneficiaries had received the COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi by 6 pm on March 27 and, so far, seven of them reported adverse events, officials said. In the age bracket of 45-59 years, 6,034 people received the shots, while 22,932 senior citizens also got their first jabs by 6 pm, an official said. The second dose of vaccine was given to 4,163 people, while 2,828 frontline and 1,777 healthcare workers got their first shot, he said. A total of 37,734 people were vaccinated across the city by 6 pm, officials said.
> Maharashtra's tally of the people receiving COVID-19 shots has reached 55,31,324, an official said on the day.
> The launch in India of a new COVID-19 vaccine developed jointly by the Serum Institute of India and US-based biotech firm Novavax is likely to be delayed to September, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of Serum said on the day. He said in January that the vaccine, named Corovax, was expected to be launched by June. He said Corovax trials had kicked off in India but did not say why the vaccine launch was delayed.
> National Conference Vice-President Omar Abdullah has said India's vaccine diplomacy has come at a cost as the anti-COVID shots supplied to other nations could have been put to good use domestically amid a second spike of infections in the country. Abdullah's remarks came after India told the United Nations General Assembly that the country has supplied more COVID-19 vaccines globally than it has vaccinated its own people.
> Indonesia expects a slowdown in COVID-19 inoculations next month as India delays shipments of AstraZeneca vaccines, its health minister said on the day.Here is the state-wise vaccination count: