Second round of COVID-19 vaccination drive begins

NEW DELHI: As the COVID-19 vaccination numbers crossed the 8 million-mark, administration of the second dose of the vaccine to those who took the first shot on day 1 of the nationwide inoculation drive on January 16 also began in several states. 

Several healthcare workers, who had taken the first, lined up to receive the second shot – 28 days later – to complete the inoculation regimen, said an official.  However, officials maintained that while the second jab of vaccine (either Covishield or Covaxin taken as the first dose) is recommended 28 days later, it can be taken anytime between four to six weeks from the first dose.

Of about 8 million healthcare and frontline workers who have received the first shot till Friday, the Union Health Ministry said, 97 per cent are “satisfied”. The number of people who have taken the shot so far reached 80,52,454 on Saturday, and 7,668 HCWs received the second dose on its first day.

India has set a target of inoculating 30 crore people against COVID-19 by July which include those identified most at the risk of catching an infection or developing severe disease. In a statement on Saturday, the government said eight states account for about 60 per cent of the total beneficiaries vaccinated in India.