On the 213th day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 70.76 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 17.37 lakh people were given their second dose.(Representative image: Reuters)
More than 88.13 lakh vaccine doses were administered in India on August 16, the Union Health Ministry's latest provisional report suggested. With that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 55.47 crore.
On the 213th day of the vaccination drive on August 16, 70.76 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 17.37 lakh people were given their second dose.
The country took 85 days to touch the figure of 10 crore. It then took 45 days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach 30 crore. India took another 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 more days to cross 50 crore vaccinations, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said.
The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin remains unchanged, i.e. four weeks.
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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 aged 45 and above with or without comorbidities.
India rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-44 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. However, later it announced to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone above the age of 18 years from June 21. The new COVID-19 vaccination policy is a significant shift from the government's 'liberalised and accelerated' policy, announced earlier.
Registration on CoWIN platform for the third phase began on April 28 and is mandatory for the 18-44 age group.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination process:
- Kerala has administered the first dose of COVID vaccine to more than half its population, state Health Minister Veena George said on August 16. She said the government has administered the first dose vaccine to 1,77,88,931 persons till now. Wayanad has become the first district in Kerala to complete the administration of the first dose of vaccine to all above the age of 18 years.
- The Delhi government has ordered the vaccination of staffers working at various institutions under the Directorate of Training and Technical Education (DTTE) since they have been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. The DTTE has also issued a list of dedicated vaccination sites where teaching and non-teaching staff can get inoculated.
- In an effort to ramp up the speed of vaccination in the country, the Union Health Ministry has approved another laboratory for testing and lot release of COVID-19 vaccines, it said on the day. The ministry has notified the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) as a Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) for testing and lot release of COVID vaccines, according to an official statement.
- Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who arrived in Kerala with a central team on the day to review the COVID-19 situation in the state, said the Centre has allocated Rs 267.35 crore to the state to strengthen its health infrastructure and will also provide it 1.11 crore vaccines in August and September. In a tweet, subsequent to his "intensive" meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state Health Minister Veena George, Mandaviya said that besides the Rs 267.35 crore an additional Rs one crore would be made available to each district of Kerala for creating a medicine pool.Here's the vaccination count for some states:
|Andhra Pradesh|| 2,53,51,368|
|Himachal Pradesh|| 65,52,796|
|Madhya Pradesh|| 3,84,32,647|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 5,98,06,936|