India administers record 10 million vaccine doses in a day

By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Aug 28, 2021 01:56 AM IST

According to the Union health ministry’s Co-WIN dashboard, a total of 10,064,376 doses had been administered on Friday, bettering the previous high of 8.82 million doses set on August 16

India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive broke a new record on Friday. More than 10 million doses of the vaccine were administered in a single day across the country for the first time since the start of the mass inoculation programme on January 16, according to data on the Union health ministry’s Co-WIN dashboard.

Beneficiaries wait in a queue to receive Covid-19 vaccine dose, at a government hospital in Nadia on Friday. (PTI)
Beneficiaries wait in a queue to receive Covid-19 vaccine dose, at a government hospital in Nadia on Friday. (PTI)

According to the Union health ministry’s Co-WIN dashboard, a total of 10,064,376 doses had been administered on Friday, bettering the previous high of 8.82 million doses set on August 16.

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“Record vaccination numbers today! Crossing 1 crore is a momentous feat. Kudos to those getting vaccinated and those making the vaccination drive a success,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Friday night.

Buoyed by Friday’s record numbers, the country’s pace of vaccination, which has been patchy so far, has settled into high gear. In the past week, an average of 6.9 million doses has been administered across the country every day – the highest pace ever recorded in the country, according to HT’s dashboard.

Friday’s single-day inoculation record comes just a day after India touched another crucial milestone – the country covered half of its adult population with at least one shot of the vaccine on Thursday.

Till Friday night, India has administered nearly 621 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to nearly 480 million people with 337.4 million people vaccinated and 141.8 million people having received both doses of the vaccine. When seen alongside the country’s projected adult population of 940 million (according to the Census of India’s National Commission on Population), this means that 51% of people above the age of 18 years have received vaccine shots – 35.9% have been partially vaccinated and 15.1% having received both doses.

“The daily average has been going up steadily because of several factors that include improved vaccine supplies from the manufacturing side, better logistical arrangements and advance information on availability of vaccine supplies. All this has made a difference and it will further improve in coming weeks, which is why states that are lagging behind, or are seeing upsurge in cases, have been asked to improve their vaccination rate,” a health ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Also on Friday, the health ministry advised all states and Union territories to prioritise those beneficiaries who are due for their second vaccine dose, people familiar with the matter said. If required, the states and UTs should earmark certain days and centres for the exercise so that no one misses their second vaccine dose, the states were told.

“Second dose obviously is the priority as that should not be missed. States have been asked to make arrangements accordingly like special drives for that,” said a central government official, on condition of anonymity.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan also chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday with all states and Union territories to review the progress of Covid-19 vaccination and advised states to focus on enhancing second dose coverage as well as immunisation of school teachers and staff (both government and private).

States were asked for prompt utilisation of Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP) funds that centre has allocated. On July 8, this year, the Union Cabinet approved a new scheme ECRP-II package, amounting to 23,123 crore, and released its first instalment of 1,827.80 crore on July 22. The Centre, earlier this month, released 14,744.99 crore to effectively fight Covid-19.

India’s drugs regulator has approved six Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use in India, of which three are being currently administered in the country. The six approved vaccines are Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Russian-made SputnikV, Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D, and the American vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Johnson and Johnson (J&J).

Government experts have been reiterating that the third wave of the viral disease may not happen if preventive measures are strictly taken, and that includes fast vaccinating people at risk.

“We know that these vaccines are disease modifying vaccines; these are not disease preventive vaccines, and therefore, it is very important to continue wearing a mask even after getting vaccinated. Mask usage has to continue. We know that vaccines reduce the disease severity; they reduce the possibility of hospitalization, and also avert death to the tune of nearly 98-99%,”said Balram Bhargava, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research and secretary, Department of Health Research, during Thursday’s press briefing on Covid-19.

He also said that mass gatherings will have to be discouraged to curtail the spread of infection.

“Full vaccination offers protection against severe disease and death, and should be a pre-requisite if attending a gathering is critical,” he added.

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    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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