1.5 million Indians receive Covid -19 vaccine in 8 days: Govt data
Eight days after the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the total number of people vaccinated against the coronavirus disease across the country crossed 1.5 million, with 146,598 health care workers receiving the first shot on Saturday.
The daily number of shots administered had risen to 230,000 on Thursday after changes were made to the Co-WIN platform to allow walk-ins on Tuesday. The app now allows registered beneficiaries to get the shot out-of-turn even if their name does not figure on the list for a particular day.
University of Oxford’s Our World in Data showed on Thursday that India is now the fastest country to breach the million-mark in immunisation, taking only six days compared to nine by the US. The country has set a target of vaccinating 30 million health care and frontline workers in the first phase.
The data showed a vaccination rate of 55.3% on Saturday, down from 57% on Thursday. However, some parts of the country reported a jump in the vaccination rate, including Delhi, where the vaccination centres saw over 86% of the target achieved.
“The number of people getting vaccinated is gradually going up. This is largely due to the health care workers seeing their seniors and peers receiving the shots without any adverse events. Slowly, the hesitancy is going down,” said a senior doctor from one of the central government-run hospitals in Delhi on condition of anonymity.
The pace of the vaccination drive so far has worried authorities as well as experts who have raised concerns about the wastage of doses since vaccinators at some locations could not find enough recipients to finish doses from the vials that they had opened.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, said that many health workers were hesitant of receiving the vaccine.
Meanwhile, seven states — Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal — will start using Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in the coming week. Initially, 12 states were administering the indigenously produced vaccine to the health workers.
On Saturday, 123 adverse reactions were reported across the country, according to the provisional data provided by the Union health ministry. So far, only 11 people have had to be hospitalised after receiving the shot.
The death of a 56-year-old health worker was reported on Friday, days after she was given the first vaccine dose. The postmortem exam, however, said that death was caused due to an underlying heart disease and was not linked to the vaccine. Since the start of the immunisation programme on January 16, six deaths have been reported across the country but none of them have been caused by the vaccine, the Union health ministry has said.
The Union health ministry is also training immunisation programme managers of 13 countries — Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Seychelles and Sri Lanka — using Indian vaccines.
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