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. (Representative image: Reuters)
As many as 36,91,511 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on April 8, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report. This came at a time when the country is widening the vaccination drive to include everyone above the age of 45, in a bid to curb the spread of novel coronavirus infections.
More than 9.43 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far. On April 8, while 32,85,004 beneficiaries received their first shot and 4,06,507 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 recently 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 launched for everyone above the age of 45.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
> Over 83,000 beneficiaries received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi on April 8, even as the city recorded this year's highest single-day spike of 7,437 cases. By 6 pm, at least 83,437 people had been vaccinated, a senior official of the Delhi health department said.
> Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane on April 8 handed over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines to his Bangladeshi counterpart Gen Aziz Ahmed who thanked India for its commendable cooperation in helping his country tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Gen Naravane is visiting Dhaka at the invitation of his Gen Ahmed. The visit comes less than two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the neighbouring country.
> In a virtual interaction with chief ministers to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, PM Modi called for observing a vaccine festival between April 11 and 14 to inoculate the maximum number of eligible beneficiaries.
> The Serum Institute of India has fully refunded South Africa for the 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which were not delivered to the country after it decided not to use the vaccine because it was not effective against a new variant of the virus.
> Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged the Centre to provide the required stock of COVID-19 vaccines for a week in advance and sought reduction in the GST rate on medicines and devices used in the treatment of the infection, officials said on the day.
> With half of Odisha's vaccination centres having halted activities for want of Covishield, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the day drew attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the problem, and requested him to ensure that the state gets to stock up doses 10 days in advance for the inoculation drive to run smoothly.
> Amid complaints of a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine in some parts of Gujarat, the state government on the day said it has received 15 lakh new doses from the Centre. While the fresh stock of the vaccine was received on April 7, the state government is already in talks with the Centre for getting another batch, said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
> The Indian National Young Academy of Sciences (INYAS) has launched a multi-pronged nationwide mass awareness campaign to bust myths about the COVID-19 vaccination programme, a statement said on the day.Here's the vaccination count in some states:
|Arunachal Pradesh|| 1,20,397|
|Madhya Pradesh|| 52,34,644|
|Tamil Nadu|| 34,02,198|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 81,45,161|
|West Bengal|| 73,12,694|