20.29 lakh healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19 across India so far: Centre

NEW DELHI: India carried out the fifth highest number of COVID-19 vaccinations by inoculating 2.03 million people till January 26, the Health Ministry said as the number of beneficiaries who received the shots across the country crossed 28 lakh till Thursday 7 pm.

Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that India was the fastest country to reach 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations in six days, while the US took 10 days, Spain 12, Israel 14, the UK 18, Italy 19, Germany 20 and UAE 27 days.

“As per ‘Our World in Data’ till January 26, India, which launched its nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, had carried out the fifth highest number of vaccinations in the world by vaccinating 2.03 million people. The important point is many other countries are showing their progress for over 50 days while India is showing its vaccination on January 26 after just 11 days,” Bhushan said.

Till January 26, the US had administered 23.54 million doses, the UK 7.64 million doses, UAE 2.76 million doses, Germany 1.99 million doses, Italy 1.58 million dose, Spain 1.36 million doses and France 1.14 million doses.

Bhushan highlighted that Lakshadweep (83.4 pc), Odisha (50.7 pc), Haryana (50 pc), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (48.3 pc), Rajasthan (46.8 pc), Tripura (45.6 pc), Mizoram (40.5 pc), Telangana (40.3 pc), Andhra Pradesh (38.1 pc), Karnataka (35.6 pc) and Madhya Pradesh (35.5 pc) are among the better performing states with over 35 per cent vaccination coverage of healthcare workers, he said.


On the other hand, Tamil Nadu (15.7 pc), Delhi (15.7 pc), Jharkhand (14.7 pc), Uttarakhand (17.1 pc), Chhattisgarh (20.6 pc) and Maharashtra (20.7 pc) have less than 21 pc vaccination coverage and need to improve, he said.

Thirteen states and UTs have each vaccinated more than 1 lakh beneficiaries (accounting for 83.31 per cent of the total), the Health Ministry said in a statement.

A total of 28,47,608 healthcare workers were vaccinated through 52,667 sessions till Thursday 7 pm in the country, as per the provisional report, the ministry said.

“4,91,615 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 9,994 sessions till 7 pm on Thursday. Final reports would be completed for the day by late tonight,” the ministry said.

“293 AEFIs have been reported till 7 pm on day 13 of the vaccination drive,” it said.

On January 16, 3,374 sessions were organised which increased to 9,994 sessions being held on January 28.

On January 16, little over two lakh beneficiaries were vaccinated, but on Thursday, the number of beneficiaries has crossed 28 lakh, Bhushan said.

India’s cumulative COVID-19 positivity rate is 5.51 pc and is declining, and the active cases are less then 1.75 lakh after seven months and are declining, Bhushan stated.

Two states, Kerala and Maharashtra, account for 67 per cent of total active COVID-19 cases in the country, he said.

Over the growing number of cases in Lakshadweep, Bhushan said till three weeks ago the UT was free from COVID-19.

The one positive case came from Kochi in a ship and it spread to the close contacts of this person.

Bhushan said 23 close contacts were identified by the local administration, they were tested and 14 were found positive.

“The original patient and the 14 persons who tested positive have all been physically isolated and it has not spread further. So there is no cause for worry,” he underlined.

Responding to a question on how vaccine wastage is being dealt with across the country, the health secretary said the ministry has issued detailed guidelines to states and Union territories to ensure that there is no wastage and for that purpose, vaccinators at the session sites have been allowed to add additional beneficiaries, apart from the 100 scheduled for the day, in case some do not turn up.

“When the vaccination programme was rolled out, 10 per cent wastage was factored in. We have issued detailed guidelines to states and Union territories on how to avoid wastage of vaccines.

We have made our digital platform more flexible and have permitted that apart from the scheduled 100 beneficiaries, the person handling the vaccination session at a particular site can add additional people as long as they are part of the database.

This is being done to ensure that there is lesser wastage of vaccines.

“Going ahead, we would also be sharing the data of vaccine wastage as we analyse it,” he said.

The total number of beneficiaries who were vaccinated till Thursday 7 pm since the drive was rolled out include 1,70,910 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,06,824 in Bihar, 1,06,393 in Kerala, 2,84,979 in Karnataka, 1,67,838 in Madhya Pradesh, 88,467 in Tamil Nadu, 48,008 in Delhi, 1,54,234 in Gujarat and 1,84,596 in West Bengal, according to the provisional report.