Cause for Concern? Most Covid-19 Vaccine Recipients Skipped Second Dose, Shows Govt Data

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In what could eventually become worrisome, a sizeable proportion of Indians have not been turning up for the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

On Saturday, 7,668 beneficiaries received the second jab, according to the provisional data released by the Union health ministry, which is just 4 per cent of the over 1,91,000 healthcare workers who received their first dose on January 16.

The two vaccines that have been cleared for used in India – Covishield and Covaxin – require that two doses be given 28 days apart. However, as per the recommendation of the apex drug regulator, the doses can be taken within a window of four to six weeks.

The government has set a deadline of March 1 to complete the vaccination of the frontline workers across the country, with a five-day period for “mop up” activity to vaccinate those who might have been missed out, said joint secretary of the Union health ministry, Mandeep Bhandari. For healthcare workers, the deadline is February 20.

India has been recording a steady decline in the number of daily new deaths since October 1, 2020, while the national recovery rates amongst the highest in the world, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. "Since 1st October 2020, the nation has seen an unabated decline in Case Fatality Rate. The Case Fatality Rate today stands below 1.5 (1.43 percent). India's Case Fatality Rate is one of the lowest in the world," it said.

The recoveries have surged to 1,06,11,731 with 11,016 patients getting discharged in a span of 24 hours. "India's Covid-19 recovery rate of 97.31 per cent is amongst the highest in the world. The difference between the recovered and active cases has grown to 1,04,74,164 as on date," the ministry highlighted.