As India is set to cross the 100-crore vaccination milestone this week, second doses of Covid-19 vaccines have outrun the first dose for the first time in the last seven days, the data on the CoWIN platform shows.
This indicates that the first dose demand in the country is now plateauing and focus going ahead will be on second dose. The October 9-15 week was also the first in which more second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine was given than the first dose, with 1.6 crore second jabs given against 1.58 crore first doses. This week too from October 16-19 so far, 1.07 crore second doses have been given compared to 81 lakh first doses. From October 13 to October 19, more second doses were administered given than the first dose daily. On October 18, the gulf was wide as 52.6 lakh second doses and 38.6 lakh first doses given during the day, data shows.
A senior government official told News18 that the first dose coverage was nearing saturation with almost 71 crore taking the first dose and the government is hoping that over 80 crore will ultimately take the first dose by the end of the year. “The focus is now on the second dose and ensuring those who have taken the first dose come for the second one on time,” the senior official said.
The second dose numbers till September were tailing the first dose given the 84-day gap between the two doses of Covishield, officials added. So far, the government has no plan to reduce this interval between the Covishield doses.