India fastest country to vaccinate over 7million against Covid-19: Govt data
India has vaccinated more than 7 million people against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19, covering at least 50% of targeted health-care workers in 26 days of the launch of the world’s largest immunisation campaign, making it fastest to reach the landmark, the government data show.
Fifty percent of accredited social health activists (ASHA), who are community health workers and part of the National Health Mission (NHM), has also been vaccinated against the viral disease as of Wednesday, February 10.
The 26 days in which India crossed 7 million vaccinations made the country the fasted to reach the mark. The United States was the closest second, having taken 27 days to vaccinate 7 million of its citizens, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
“The idea to start Covid-19 vaccination with health care workers made sense for the precise reason that if there were any glitches, those would be addressed before the drive is scaled up. It is picking up and states are vaccinating more numbers on a daily basis. This is a positive step,” said Dr MC Misra, former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.
India started the Covid-19 immunisation drive on January 16 with two locally manufactured vaccines, Covishield developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca and made by Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, and Covaxin, developed and produced by Bharat Biotech International. It immediately started administering the jabs to health-care workers in the first phase. The government estimates that close to 10 million health-care workers are registered to receive the vaccine against Covid-19.
“India has become the fastest country in the world to achieve over 70 lakh vaccinations against Covid-19. India accomplished this feat in only 26 days, while it took 27 days for the United States (US) and 48 days for the United Kingdom (UK) to reach the same figures. India has also been the fastest to touch the 6 million mark a few days back,” the Union health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
As of the morning of Thursday (February 11), 7,017,114 beneficiaries had received the first shot under the countrywide Covid-19 vaccination exercise.
The cumulative vaccination coverage of includes 5,705,228 health-care workers (HCWs) and 1,311,886 front-line workers (FLWs), who include municipal workers, police and civil defence personnel. All these individuals have received the shot in 143,056 sessions that have been conducted so far across the country.
Uttar Pradesh has vaccinated 673,542 individuals, followed by Gujarat with 6 14, 530 vaccinations . In Maharashtra, 573,681 health-care workers have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination.
“4,05,349 beneficiaries (HCWs- 94,890 and FLWs- 3,10,459) were vaccinated on Day-26 (10th Feb 2021) across 8,308 sessions. The number of beneficiaries being vaccinated every day has shown a progressive increase. 13 States/UTs have vaccinated over 65% of the registered healthcare workers (HCWs). Bihar leads with over 79.4% of the registered HCWs vaccinated,” the health ministry statement said.
After Bihar, other states that have provided shots to the maximum number of HCWs so far are Tripura (77.8%), Madhya Pradesh (76%), Odisha (73.9%), Uttarkhand (73.7%), Himachal Pradesh (72.5%), Lakshadweep (70.7%), Kerala (70.5%) and Mizoram (70.4%), among others.
However, there are at least seven states that have still reported only either 40% coverage or below, and have been specifically directed by the Centre to improve their performance.
The Union territory of Puducherry has vaccinated only 17.5% of targeted beneficiaries , the lowest proportion immunised against the disease in any state or Ut.
“States have been given a deadline for both health-care workers and frontl-ine workers, to schedule at least one dose by then and even conduct mop-up rounds to accommodate the registered beneficiaries through the Co-WIN app, falling which the remaining beneficiaries will be rolled over in the age-appropriate category as we cannot keep scheduling and re-scheduling sessions indefinitely. There is a large number of beneficiaries that still needs to be covered,” said Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.