Coronavirus | COVID-19 vaccine for people over 50 years from March

The population above 50 years of age, and people with co-morbidities in the 20 to 50 years age group are scheduled to start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from March onwards, said All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria on Friday, while answering questions related to the COVID-19 vaccination drive. He was speaking at an interactive programme organised by the Health Ministry.

Dr. Guleria, while explaining that while it was not clear for how long the COVID-19 vaccination offers protection, said: โ€œA good amount of antibodies will develop in about 14 days after the second vaccine shot. Though the exact time length about the protection offered is not clear, we believe that the cover will last for at least eight months, or may be longer.โ€

He also said that people travel and become carriers of viruses, and so, โ€œEveryone needs to be vaccinated globally to control the spread. Therefore, all countries need to get their share of vaccine.โ€

On Friday, Indiaโ€™s total active COVID-19 caseload saw a decline and stood at 1.35 lakh (1,35,926), as per data released by the Health Ministry. โ€œThe distribution of new cases in India in the last 24 hours shows a positive picture with only one State reporting over 1,000 new cases. Four States/UTs have not reported any new cases in the last 24 hours, and these include Daman and Diu, Ladakh and Tripura,โ€ the Ministry said.

The Ministry added that the distribution of daily deaths among States/UTs in the last 24 hours also reflects a significant decline in the daily deaths, with 18 States/UTs not reporting any new deaths in the last 24 hours. India has reported 9,309 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, and 15,858 new recoveries in the same period.

Giving details on the ongoing vaccination drive, the Ministry said that a total of 77,66,319 beneficiaries had been vaccinated till 6 p.m. as per the provisional reports, with no case of serious/severe adverse effects or deaths attributable to vaccination till date.

โ€œStates/UTs have been directed to schedule vaccination for healthcare workers at least once by 20th Feb and mop-up rounds by Feb 25th. Also for frontline workers [โ€”] by 21 Feb they should have received at least one dose of vaccination with mop-up round by 6 March,โ€ the Ministry said.

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