As many as 29.9 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on April 20, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report.
With that, more than 13 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far. On April 20, 19.86 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 10.03 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.
Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government announced on April 19 as it liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
> PM Modi urged vaccine manufacturers on April 20 to continuously scale up their production capacity to inoculate all Indians in the shortest possible time. Interacting with vaccine manufacturers from across the country via video conferencing, PM Modi said the private sector will play an even more active role in the vaccination drive in the coming days and that this will require better coordination between hospitals and the industry. He also assured all possible support and smooth approval process for the vaccine candidates which are currently under trial phase.
> Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the state could not achieve its target of vaccinating two lakh people a day due to lesser supply of COVID-19 vaccines. "The situation is alarming, with only one day's stock left while the Union government has announced to vaccinate all above 18 years of age from May 1," he said in an official statement in Chandigarh.
> Maharashtra will import vaccines from other countries and funds will be diverted from all departments to carry out an extensive inoculation drive on the lines of the United Kingdom, the state government said. The state is worst-affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the country with more than 50,000 cases being reported daily in the last two weeks.
> Over 1.26 crore people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Maharashtra so far, an official said.
> The Assam government has urged the Centre to send an adequate number of COVID-19 vaccine vials as the state's stock will be exhausted in six-seven days, a senior official said. The state has received altogether 22.93 lakh doses -- 17.52 lakh doses of Covishield and 5.40 lakh doses of Covaxin -- so far, Health and Family Welfare Department Principal Secretary Samir K Sinha said.
> The Delhi High Court said wastage of even a single shot of the COVID-19 vaccine was a "criminal waste" and directed the Centre to vaccinate whomsoever it can to ensure each vial is used fully.Here's the vaccination count in some states:
|Arunachal Pradesh|| 1,86,071|
|Himachal Pradesh|| 13,78,686|
|Madhya Pradesh|| 75,42,949|