A total of 1,19,07,392 beneficiaries have so far been vaccinated for COVID-19 through 2,53,434 sessions held till the evening of February 23, the 39th day of the immunisation drive, according to a provisional report of the Union Health Ministry.
On February 23, 1,61,840 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm through 8,557 sessions, the ministry said. Of these, 98,382 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose of the vaccine and 63,458 healthcare workers received the second dose, it said.
The second dose of COVID-19 vaccination started from the day for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after receipt of the first dose. The approval provided by DCGI accords a window of four weeks to six weeks for the second dose.
India’s drug regulator has approved two vaccines – Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) – for emergency use in the country.
According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.
Here are all developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine in India:
> Over 3.2 lakh beneficiaries have received COVID-19 vaccine till date in Delhi since the start of the inoculation drive a month ago, with more than 20,000 people receiving shots on February 23, according to data shared by officials. Out of these, more than 1.37 lakh are healthcare workers and over 1.86 lakh frontline workers, as per the data. Three minor cases of AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) were reported, officials said.
> A total of 42,319 people were given the COVID-19 vaccine in Maharashtra on the day, taking the state’s overall tally of inoculations to 10,28,271, an official said. Of those who got the vaccine jabs during the day, 30,789 received the first dose, comprising 23,018 frontline and 7,771 health workers, while 11,530 got the second dose, he added.
> The Union health ministry on Tuesday asked Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh to expedite the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers so as to confer immunity in the shortest possible time-frame in the wake of a rising trend of COVID-19 cases and positively rate in some districts.
> Ukraine received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine on the day, raising hopes that authorities can start beating back the virus’ spread in a country where cases have strained the fragile health care system. A consignment of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was flown to the capital Kyiv from India.
> Sri Lanka has ordered 13.5 million Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines in addition to the 500,000 doses gifted by India, and the country may not use Chinese vaccines in the second phase of immunisation, a government spokesman said on the day. Ramesh Pathirana, who is also the Minister of Plantations, said Sri Lanka is likely to go only with the AstraZeneca vaccines for the second phase of vaccination as the Chinese and Russian vaccines are not ready yet.
> Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has facilitated the distribution of around 43 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines including to overseas destinations since January. Mumbai Airport had started airlifting the vaccines since January 13.