50% COVID-19 vaccine doses administered reached 18-44 age group: Government
As India's COVID-19 vaccination drive has been picking up the pace, government data revealed that roughly half the doses were administered among those aged 18-44 years. On Wednesday, India crossed the 70 crore-mark in terms of the total number of doses administered. However, even as the vaccination drive accelerates, Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw estimates it would take nine months to vaccinate all adults.
According to data shared by the Health Ministry, 50.3% of doses were administered in the 18-44 age group, followed by 45-60 years (29.8%), and those aged over 60 (19.9%). In the 18-44 age group, nearly 28.2 crore doses administered were the first shot, while 3.73 crore were the second. Further, 1.89 crore and 3.20 crore doses were administered to healthcare and frontline workers, respectively.
Since the vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 70,75,43,018 doses have been administered across the country, data updated till 8 am on Wednesday showed. The data showed that 78,47,625 doses were administered over a 24-hour period. According to the Co-WIN dashboard, 76.3 lakh doses were administered till 6:30 pm Wednesday, pushing the total to 71.45 crore.
Meanwhile, speaking at an event organized by the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Shaw said, "Another nine months minimum to give at least two doses of the vaccine to the eligible population." Shaw praised the Serum Institute of India (SII) for supplying 600 million of the 650 million doses administered. The SII and other firms will ramp up production, she said.
Shaw also warned that India is on the brink of another COVID-19 wave, warning against large-scale gatherings ahead of the festival season. She also pointed to a spike in infections in Kerala after the Onam festival. Several experts have predicted that a "third wave" of COVID-19 may hit India in September or October, warning against any violation of norms.
Separately, Shaw expressed shock over how some nations have started talking about a third vaccine dose (booster doses) even as several underdeveloped or developing nations are yet to administer first doses among citizens. Shaw cautioned, "If nations just want to look after themselves, I can tell you they are not looking after themselves unless they look after every other country."