Inoculations inch close to 20 million

More vaccinations in second phase since March 1 with an average of 7 to 8 lakh per day last week

Close to 20 million vaccine doses have been administered since the programme began on January 16 with 7.6 lakh senior citizens and 1.4 lakh persons above 45 and with comorbidities, getting their first dose on Saturday.

Nearly 70 lakh healthcare workers (HCWs)have been vaccinated with at least one dose of either Covaxin or Covishield and 34 lakh of them have got their follow-up doses after at least four weeks, the recommended schedule. Nearly 63 lakh frontline workers (FLWs) have been inoculated with one dose with 14 lakh getting a second dose.

The second phase of the vaccination drive appears to be inoculating more people than during the first phase of the exercise. Close to 7-8 lakh have been inoculated for most days last week as opposed to the 1-3 lakh HCWs workers in the early weeks of the vaccination programme.

The second dose of COVID-19 vaccination started on February 13, 2021 for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after the first dose. Vaccination of the FLWs started on February 2.

The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1, 2021 for those who were over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. So far 3.5 lakh beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities have got their first dose and 24 lakh who are 60 and above have got their first doses.

The government plans to inoculate at least 300 million of the HCW, FLW, seniors and the specific subset of those over 45 by September. However, unless there is a massive acceleration in vaccination this exercise might extend well into 2022.

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