India vaccinates 20 crore people against Covid-19

New Delhi: In a landmark achievement, India has inoculated 20 crore people against coronavirus disease in 130 days since the start of the vaccination drive on January 16, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry said on Wednesday.

On the 130th day, the cumulative Covid vaccination coverage stood at 20,06,62,456 doses, including 15,71,49,593 first doses and 4,35,12,863 second doses, as per data available at 7 a.m. on Wednesday/

India, with the one of the world’s largest vaccine drives, is only second to US to inoculate over 20 crore people.  The US had achieved the milestone in 124 days.

 Other leading countries in Covid vaccination drive include the UK which has reached 5.1 crore mark in 168 days, Brazil with 5.9 crore in 128 days, and Germany which reached 4.5 crore mark in 149 days, as per the data available in Our World. 

Over 34 per cent population above 45 years, and 42 per cent above 60 years, has received at least the first dose of the vaccine so far, the Ministry further added. 

India currently has three vaccines which have approval from Drug Controller General of India for emegercy use; these include two made in India vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The Russian Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get approval from DCGI. However, the country has very few doses of the vaccine available, but more doses are to be shipped soon. On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that Sputnik V makers have agreed to supply their vaccine to Delhi, adding that the quantity is yet to be decided. 

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In Phase 1 of the vaccination drive, started on January 16, all health care workers, and front line workers, while Phase 2 were administered the vaccine shot, starting from March 1, people above 60 years of age and persons above 45 years with associated specified co-morbidities were given the anti-covid dose. This was further relaxed to all people above 45 years of age on April 1.

In Phase 3, under the “Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy” adopted on May 1, everyone above 18 years of age was eligible for the vaccination.

India had started the vaccination drive with high intensity, becoming the fastest country in the world to inoculate 1 crore people. However, the drive then slowed down with many states crying shortage of vaccine doses. 

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