Govt has allowed COVID-19 vaccination for all aged 18 years and above from May 1. (Representative image)
As many as 31.47 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on April 22, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report.
With that, more than 13.54 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far. On April 22, 19.25 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 12.21 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:
> Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on April 22 said that his government will provide COVID-19 vaccine to people above 18 years of age for free. Soren's statement came after the Centre announced a 'liberalised' policy making all adults above 18 years of age eligible to get inoculated from May 1 and allowing state governments and private hospitals to purchase vaccines from manufacturers.
> Over 1,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccine that were stolen from a government hospital in Haryana's Jind district were returned hours later by the unidentified thief with a note that stated that he did not know that these were coronavirus jabs. A total of 1,270 doses of Covishield and 440 doses of Covaxin were stolen from the hospital, SHO of Civil Lines police station Rajender Singh said on the day.
> The Himachal Pradesh government on the day said it will provide COVID vaccine free of cost to people between 18 and 44 years from May 1. Following a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj told reporters that the decision was made keeping in mind the welfare of the general public although it would be a huge burden on the exchequer.
> The Karnataka government decided on the day to purchase 1 crore doses of Covishield vaccine at a cost of Rs 400 crore.
> The Civil Aviation Ministry on the day permitted the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct a feasibility study on using drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccine, according to an official statement. The ICMR will conduct this study in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, the ministry's press release said.
> Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has sought information from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the availability and cost of vaccines to be provided to the state for the third phase of the vaccination drive commencing May 1.Here's the vaccination count in some states:
|Himachal Pradesh|| 14,51,370|
|Madhya Pradesh|| 77,38,469|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 1,14,41,728|
|West Bengal|| 95,58,932|