As many as 36,71,242 doses of coronavirus vaccines were administered in India in the pastā 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said today. Amid the resurge in the coronavirus cases, India has widened the vaccination drive to include those above the age of 45 from 1 April.
More than 6.87 crore beneficiaries have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as of 7 am on April 2, the ministry said.
More than 33,65,597 beneficiaries were given the first shot in the past 24 hours, while 3,05,645 people received their second doses, according to the data.
“With the increase in the number of cases, vaccinating general citizens above the age of 45 irrespective of comorbidities comes as a welcome move on the government’s part. The general phase started on 1st March was about vaccinating vulnerable citizens. The second phase has all citizens above the age of 45 be vaccinated. Today being the first day, we saw a very good response from the citizens aged between 45-59. The average over the last month has been more senior citizens taking the Vaccination, but today we saw a reverse trend with more people aged between 45-59,” Dr Vivek Talaulikar, CEO at Global Hospital, Mumbai said.
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Meanwhile, India reported 81,466 new Covid-19 infections overnight, data from the health ministry showed today, the highest since 2 October 2020. The country reported 469 more deaths, taking the total to 163,396.
Coronavirus vaccinations will be done throughout the month till 30 April, including on gazetted holidays, at all public and private Covid inoculation centres, the Union Health Ministry has said. The Centre has written to all States and Union Territories and asked them to make necessary arrangements for the same.
According to the health ministry, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh continue to show a steep rise in the Covid-19 daily new cases.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated and the vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.