Over 10 lakh inoculated, India's vaccination drive picks pace
After the first day of the massive coronavirus vaccination drive in India led to disappointing results — the target of inoculating three lakh healthcare workers wasn't met — the country picked pace and 10,43,534 people have now been given the first dose of either Covishield or COVAXIN, data from Health Ministry revealed. Evidently, India inoculated over ten lakh in just six days. Here's more.
The second worst-hit nation started inoculation drive last Saturday
One year into the coronavirus pandemic, India flagged-off its vaccination drive, billed as the largest in the world, on January 16. The plan all along was to administer the doses to healthcare and frontline workers first, as they face a greater risk of contracting the fatal infection that has claimed 1,53,067 lives in the nation. The infection tally stands at 1,06,26,200.
Thursday's vaccination numbers were the best till now
Over 2,30,000 people were vaccinated on Thursday, the highest number so far. Yesterday, Delhi witnessed a notable jump in turnout. From an average of 50%, the national capital saw 73% of the daily target being achieved yesterday. This improvement was credited to tweaks in the Co-WIN platform, that allowed vaccinators to inoculate healthcare workers who walked-in to the site if scheduled ones remained absent.
Officials can now plan the entire week
"The app has been modified to allow the creation of more session sites, more sessions per site, and change in site location as per the local requirement. Instead of a daily plan, officials concerned can now plan and schedule the sessions for the entire week," said Dr. Manohar Agnani from Health Ministry.
US took nine days to vaccinate a comparable population
India has now become the fastest nation to breach the 10 lakh-mark, as per the University of Oxford's Our World in Data. The United States, which started its drive in December with the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, took nine days to vaccinate a similar population. While the numbers seem heartening, India will have to ramp up speed to complete the first phase soon.
Meanwhile, posters have been launched to counter misinformation
Further, to tackle misinformation around vaccines, the government has released posters, carrying the modified version of famous song Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna crooned by legendary singer Kishore Kumar. The creatives also have messages from healthcare workers, who have been inoculated. They were launched yesterday by Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who asked states to counter rumor-mongering.
Both vaccines are safe, safe, safe: Dr. Paul
"You are aware that I have taken COVAXIN and I have zero side-effects. Data shows that these two vaccines are safe, safe, safe," NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul, who was given the vaccine on January 16, says in the posters.