India had on January 16 launched the world's largest vaccination drive against the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than a million lives, sunk economies, shuttered businesses, and shattered daily life the world over. It's been 20 days, and the inoculation drive seems to be moving on full throttle.
Here are all your questions answered about India's vaccine drive:
How many people have been vaccinated till now?
The first phase and second phase of the drive is to see 3 crore people getting vaccinated against Covid-19. These are frontline workers - healthcare personnel, sanitation workers, police, among others. Till now, more than 54 lakh people have been vaccinated, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.
Of the 54,16,849 beneficiaries inoculated, the highest number of people were vaccinated in Uttar Pradesh at 6,73,542, followed by Maharashtra at 4,34,943, Rajasthan at 4,14,422, and Karnataka at 3,60,592. The health ministry has said India is the fastest country to reach the 50 lakh-mark in its inoculation drive in 21 days.
When will people get the second dose of the vaccine?
The government on Thursday had said the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines will be administered to healthcare workers starting February 13. NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul made the announcement in a public briefing. Healthcare workers have only been given the first dose, so far, Paul said.
The government in a press release on Saturday said the second vaccine dose on February 13 will be given to those who took the first shot on Day 1 of the drive on January 16. It added that there was room for improvement in the number of average vaccinations per session.
When will others get the vaccine?
The third phase of vaccination - which will cover 27 crore people aged 50 and those with co-morbidities - is likely to commence in March, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said in the Lok Sabha on Friday. He added that the vaccination drive for frontline workers had begun this week. "In the coming days, 27 crore people who are of above 50 years of age and those under 50 with co-morbidities will be vaccinated. 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," he said.
What about vaccine side-effects?
Harsh Vardhan on Friday also said that a total of 7,580 adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), which translates to 0.2 per cent cases, have been reported out of total vaccinations till January 31. Responding to a question on the adverse side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines, Vardhan said 12 deaths i.e. 0.000319 per cent fatalities cases out of the total number vaccinated till January 31 (not causally related to vaccination presently) have also been reported.
"These deaths were investigated and examined by the experts and as per current evidence none of these deaths have a causal relationship with COVID-19 vaccination," he said in a written reply. As far as AEFIs are concerned, he said most of these are minor AEFIs like anxiety, vertigo, giddiness, dizziness, fever, pain, rashes, and headache, which are self-limiting and all people have recovered, Vardhan said.
Do you need to submit Aadhar card details for Co-Win registration?
Registration on the Co-WIN portal does not require a user to submit Aadhaar card details, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey has said. Providing details about the Co-WIN portal, which has been created along with the CoWin mobile app to streamline the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India, he said it has been developed by the Ministry of Health, government of India with the support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India Office.