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India's New Covid Vaccine Milestone: 50% Eligible Population Given First Dose

People wait to receive a dose of COVID-19 vaccine during mass vaccination drive at Lalbaug area in Mumbai. (PTI)

People wait to receive a dose of COVID-19 vaccine during mass vaccination drive at Lalbaug area in Mumbai. (PTI)

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 61 crore, the Union health ministry said on Thursday. Nearly 68 lakh (67,87,305) vaccine doses were administered on Thursday, according to the 7 pm provisional report. Final reports would be completed for the day by late night, the ministry said.

“India achieves unprecedented milestone! 50 per cent of the eligible population inoculated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Keep it up India. Let us fight Corona," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.

Cumulatively, 23,18,95,731 individuals in the age group of 18-44 years have received their first dose and 2,33,74,357 their second dose since the start of phase-3 of the vaccination drive, according to health ministry data. As on Day-223 of the vaccination drive (August 26), 46,88,114 were vaccinated for the first dose and 20,99,191 received the second dose, according to the provisional report till 7 PM, the data stated.

The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry said. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.

The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.

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first published:August 27, 2021, 00:11 IST