Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Only those fully vaccinated should attend mass gatherings, if essential, the Centre said on Thursday warned while highlighting that Covid vaccination in India had gathered pace with an average of over 80 lakh jabs administered daily in the last week of August.

As per the data shared by the Union health ministry on Thursday, a total of 18.38 crore vaccine doses were administered in August while in the last week of the month, the average daily vaccination had been over 80 lakh — with the daily vaccination figure crossing 1 crore mark on two days.

In August, the average daily vaccination was 59.29 lakh doses, up from nearly 43 lakh doses administered on an average in July and the government is hoping to take it to nearly 70-75 lakh every day in September during which availability of nearly 20-22 crore doses has been projected.

Till Thursday morning, nearly 64.65 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states by the Centre while about 5 crore balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with states.

The figures shared by the ministry in a weekly briefing showed that 16% of the total adult population in India has now been fully vaccinated against Covid while nearly 54% of the total adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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The data also showed that two small states and one UT had achieved a remarkable feat of fully vaccinating 100 % of the population with at least one dose of Covid vaccine while some others too had covered nearly 70-80 % of the population.

V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog pointed out that some large states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had achieved a very high rate of vaccinations on a few days, pushing the nationwide tally to over 1 crore mark, the bar of high daily vaccinations for the country as a whole has also been rising.

On the opening of export of Covid vaccines being manufactured in India, officials said that India would resume exports of Covid vaccines only after its own interests are taken care of.

A recent surge in immunisations has raised hopes of foreign sales that have been barred since mid-April when the country was hit by a massive second wave of the pandemic. “Every country works with an aim of keeping its people, economy and social system safe,” said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan.  

“Even the public health response to Covid is governed by those goals. So, we will also try to achieve those goals and see when would be the right time to export vaccines.”