‘Unprecedented milestone!’ says health minister as 50% of India’s adults get first anti-Covid dose

At least 50% of the total adult population of India has received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, said Union health minister Mansukh Madaviya on Thursday. 

“India achieves unprecedented milestone! 50% of the eligible population inoculated with the first dose of #COVID19 vaccine. Keep it up India. Let us fight Corona (sic),” wrote Mandaviya on Twitter. 

This comes in the backdrop of the country having administered over 61 crore anti-Covid vaccines since the inoculation drive began on 16 January. More than 60 lakh vaccines were given on Thursday. 

Cumulatively, 23,18,95,731 persons in the 18-44 category across all states and union territories have received their first dose and a total of 2,33,74,357 have received their second dose since the start of phase-3 of the vaccination drive.

As of day-223 of the vaccination drive, a total of 67,87,305 vaccine doses were given. As many as 46,88,114 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose and 20,99,191 beneficiaries received the second dose of vaccine as per the provisional report till 7 pm.

The central government said on Thursday that no report of Covid-19 vaccine shortage has been received from states and Union Territories in the past two to three weeks and the present situation is “satisfactory”.

Covishield dosage gap 

The central government is considering reducing the interval between two Covishield doses, reported ANI, quoting government sources.

As per the news agency, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) will decide on the dosage gap.

Responding to this, NTAGI chief Dr NK Arora said that the government panel is reviewing vaccine effectiveness data on regular basis.

“Programmatic data collection processes are on to assess vaccine effectiveness. NTAGI reviewing vaccine effectiveness data on regular basis. Currently, there is no proposal for change in dose interval for Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik under consideration,” said Arora.

The current gap between two doses of the vaccine has been set at 12-16 weeks for all adults.

The recommended dose gap for Covishield was four to six weeks when the nationwide vaccination drive started in January this year. It was later extended to six to eight weeks.

In May, the government revised the dose gap to 12 to 16 weeks. Criticism followed the decision as there was a shortage of vaccines in the country and it was seen as a move to gain time to procure more doses.


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