63.5% health staff get shots, govt says drive to run another 5 days
With 63.5% of the registered health care workers having received vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) across the country till Saturday, the deadline for the inoculation drive, the health ministry instructed states to immunise as many health care workers as possible during the next five days as part of a “mop up” round.
According to the Union health ministry, 10.8 million doses have been administered across the country, with 6.35 million health care workers receiving at least one shot of the vaccine till Saturday evening.
Almost 874,000 health care workers have received their second shot as well. The government had identified nearly 10 million health care workers for the programme. India also crossed the milestone of administering vaccine to over 10 million people on Saturday.
Puducherry recorded the lowest vaccine coverage among health care workers, with only 31.9% of the registered beneficiaries receiving the shots till Saturday evening, followed by Chandigarh with 35.6% and Punjab with 38.7%. The national capital was also among the seven states and Union Territories with less than 50% vaccination coverage for the health care workers. According to the data shared by the Delhi government, 50.7% of the health care workers were immunised till Saturday evening.
Among the 20 million frontline workers identified by the government for the drive, 3.6 million received the vaccine.
So far, 10 states and UTs have vaccinated 50% of their frontline workers. Topping the list was Dadra and Nagar Haveli that has already vaccinated 89.6% of its registered frontline workers, followed by 84.6% in Rajasthan and 80.2% in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in states such as Maharashtra and Punjab has experts worried, with most suggesting that the vaccination coverage has to be ramped up to curb the spread of the disease.