New Delhi: More than 50 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated against coronavirus in 21 days in India which is the fastest rate in the world, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Responding to a question on vaccine hesitancy, he said at the start of COVID-19 vaccination drive, fewer than planned beneficiaries attended the vaccination sessions due to transient technical issues in CoWIN portal, vaccine hesitancy, among others, which have progressively been addressed.
A total of 93.6 lakh healthcare and 77.9 lakh frontline workers had been registered for the vaccination till January 31, the minister said in a written reply. He said 37.58 lakh workers were vaccinated till January 31.
"Initially the coverage was low however, the rate of vaccination coverage has subsequently increased," Choubey said. Asked if the healthcare and frontline workers are not confident of the vaccine available for them, the MoS said, "This is not a fact. More than 50 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated in 21 days in India which is the fastest rate in the world." A communication campaign is being carried out to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines and address the misinformation regarding the vaccination process, he said.
The communication strategy aims to disseminate factual information about the vaccine and the vaccination process. This is being done through multimedia platforms and through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) website. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive had begun from January 16.
During the initial phases, the vaccine is being provided to the priority groups of healthcare and frontline workers for free by the central government. Till January 26, a total of 200 lakh doses of 'Covishield' and 28.03 lakh doses of 'Covaxin' have been supplied, Choubey said in a separate reply.