India administers 10 million vaccine doses, second quickest drive in world
India has delivered more than 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, the government said on Friday, describing it as the second-quickest campaign in the world.
India began inoculating people to fight the pandemic on January 16 and was administering doses at the fastest pace for weeks, before lingering hesitancy among some people and technical glitches meant the pace was overtaken by the United States. “India has administered over 1 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine to its health workers and frontline workers. It has been done in 34 days, which is the second fastest in the whole world,” said union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
As per the government’s provisional data, 10.44 million doses had been administered by Friday evening. But not all health workers who signed up having taken doses, prompting the government to renew appeals for them to come forward, a day before the window is meant to close for them. “Both the vaccines are safe and immunogenic. There have been no serious or sever acute events following immunisation in the whole country. No death has been attributed to the vaccination. I would like to appeal to the medical professionals to get the vaccine,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Twelve states and union territories have vaccinated over 75% of all the healthcare workers who had been registered on the government’s Co-WIN portal. Topping the list is Bihar with 84.7% coverage, followed by Tripura with 82.9%, and Odisha with 81.8%. The national capital, however, figures in the list of the seven states and union territories with less than 50% vaccine coverage. So far, only 46.5% of the registered healthcare workers in Delhi have received their first shots. The lowest coverage was reported in Puducherry where only 30.2% have been immunised, followed by Chandigarh where 34.3% have received the shot, and Punjab where 38.4% have received it.
With 658,674 shot being administered, Thursday saw the highest ever vaccination in the country since the drive was rolled out on January 16.
The vaccination drive aims to immunise 10 million healthcare workers, 20 million frontline workers, 260 million people above the age of 50, and 10 million people with severe co-morbidities. NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul had on Thursday said that the Centre finalised the norms for identifying the 10 million people with comorbidities.