India Zooms Past US in Number of Vaccine Doses Administered, Time Taken Lesser by a Month

India has now administered more vaccine doses than the United States. As on June 28, India has given 32,36,63,297 doses while US has clocked 32,33,27,328.

Interestingly, vaccinations in India began on January 16 this year while US has been providing jabs from December 14 last year.

More than 17.21 lakh vaccine doses were administered in India on June 27, the Union Health Ministry’s latest provisional report suggested.

On the 163rd day of the vaccination drive on June 27, 13.9 lakh beneficiaries received their first shot and 3.3 lakh people were given their second dose.

The government has revised the gap between the two doses for the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, to 12-16 weeks. However, the interval for the second dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin remains unchanged.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, with healthcare workers at the frontline of India’s COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs. The country began the second phase of the vaccination drive from March 1 in which everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities could start getting the vaccine.

From April 1, vaccination was opened for everyone above the age of 45 with or without comorbidities. India rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-44 age group on May 1.

The central government has ‘liberalised’ the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals, and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers. However, later it announced to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone above the age of 18 years from June 21. The new COVID-19 vaccination policy is a significant shift from the government’s ‘liberalised and accelerated’ policy, announced earlier.

Registration on CoWIN platform for the third phase began on April 28 and is mandatory for the 18-44 age group.

The Delhi government has informed the Centre that the city needs 45 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines in July to keep up the current vaccination rate of 1.5 lakh jabs daily, AAP MLA Atishi Marlena said on June 27.

Cautioning that the threat of COVID-19 remains, PM Modi urged people on the day to shed vaccine hesitancy, and cited his example and of his nearly 100-year-old mother, both of whom are now fully vaccinated, to ask them to trust science and scientists.

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