On the 248th day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 57.11 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 39.35 lakh their second dose. (Representative image: Reuters)
More than 96.46 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in India on September 20, taking the total number of jabs to above 81.85 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry's report.
On the 248th day of the vaccination drive, 57.11 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 39.35 lakh their second dose.
The country took 85 days to give 10 crore doses. The next 10 crore took 45 days and in another 29 days, India touched the 30-crore mark. The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 days to cross 50-crore doses on August 6. It took 19 more days to go past the 60-crore mark on August 25. The country crossed the landmark of administering 75 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses on September 13.
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 at four weeks.
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 drive from March 1, vaccinating everyone above 60 and above 45 with comorbidities.
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 Centre opened up the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals, and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers. As the drive stuttered, it announced free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone above the age of 18 from June 21.
Here are key developments related to the COVID-19 vaccination:
- The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to over 90 percent of the people eligible for vaccination in Kerala, Health Minister Veena George said on September 20 and urged people not to be averse to getting inoculated. The minister said that a majority of the people who died due to COVID-19 were those who were unvaccinated and therefore, no one should be averse to getting both jabs of the vaccine.
- The UK said on the day that it is engaging with India to explore how it could expand the recognition of the COVID-19 vaccine certification issued by Indian authorities amid criticism of the new British travel rules. The comments by a spokesperson in the British High Commission here came amid concerns in India over the latest COVID-related travel restrictions announced by the United Kingdom.
- The Tamil Nadu government urged the Centre on the day to allocate an additional 50 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines every week, to enable the state in vaccinating all the uncovered eligible persons by the end of October, apart from administering the second dose to those due to receive them. Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, citing the "resounding success" of two mega COVID-19 vaccination camps held on September 12 and 19, where a cumulative 45-lakh odd jabs were administered to the public across the state.
- An influential US Congressman has welcomed India's decision to resume the export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool. India will resume export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of this year under the 'Vaccine Maitri' programme to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on the day. He, however, asserted that vaccinating own citizens remains the topmost priority of the government. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization (WHO).Here's the vaccination count for some states:
|Andhra Pradesh|| 3,79,86,801|
|Arunachal Pradesh|| 10,85,815|
|Jammu and Kashmir||1,01,95,730|
|Uttar Pradesh|| 9,58,17,899|
|West Bengal|| 5,18,07,029|