India surpasses USA and Britain, breaks world record by vaccinating 5 million people in just 21 days

In a significant development, India has so far vaccinated more than five million beneficiaries against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), surpassing the USA and Britain. As many as 50 lakh people have been vaccinated in the 21 days since the launch of the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16.

“As on February 5, 2021, 6pm, a total of 52,90,474 beneficiaries have been vaccinated for Covid-19 and for which a total of 1,04,781 sessions have been held,” said Manohar Agnani, additional secretary at the health ministry.

In the vaccination drive, the doctors are using two vaccines – Covishield made by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

Agnani further said that no person was hospitalised after vaccination in the last 24 hours. “Total hospitalisation till date is 27, no hospitalisation in past 24 hours. Deaths so far are 22. New death in the past 24 hours is 1. A 77-year-old male, a resident of Agra. He was hospitalised seven days after vaccination with shock with preexisting diabetes,” he said.

“None of these deaths have been linked with vaccination,” added Agnani. Meanwhile, the government has said that the second dose of the vaccine will be administered to healthcare workers from 13 February, highlighting that 45% of them have been inoculated so far.

Vaccinations of frontline workers started from 3 February while its third phase is likely to commence in March and will cover 27 crore people aged 50 years and above and those with co-morbidities.

“It is not possible to give an exact date, but we estimate that this process can start in the second, third or the fourth week of March,” said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Besides these, work is in progress on seven vaccines. Of the seven, three vaccines are in phase 3 clinical trial stage. Two vaccines are in phase 1 and 2 clinical trial stages and the remaining two are in advanced pre-clinical stage.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.