India has become the third country after the United States and the United Kingdom where authorities have inoculated the highest number of people against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Union ministry of health and family welfare said on Sunday. “More than 57.75 lakh beneficiaries vaccinated against Covid-19,” the health ministry said in a statement.
As per the statement, 12 states in the country administered more than 200,000 people each. Uttar Pradesh which is also the most populated state of the country alone accounts for 673,542 of all vaccinated people. The health ministry said that 358,473 people were vaccinated across 8,875 sessions in the last 24 hours with as many as 115,178 sessions conducted so far. There has been a sustained increase in the number of beneficiaries being vaccinated every day, it also said.
The cumulative vaccination coverage includes 53,04,546 healthcare workers and 4,70,776 frontline workers.
In the United States, 26.5 million Americans had received one or both doses of the vaccines, news agency Bloomberg reported earlier this week. In the UK, more than 8.9 million people have received a first dose of the vaccine.
The first phase of vaccination drive against the Covid-19 is in full swing in the country as authorities are inoculating thousands of healthcare and essential workers every day. In the second phase which is likely to begin in March, people older than 50 or deemed high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions will be given priority. The vaccines will be available for the general public after the priority list is covered.
The drugs regulatory body of India has currently approved two vaccines. Pune-based Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University while Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Medical Council of Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 caseload in the country reached 10,826,363 after 12,059 people contracted the virus in the last 24 hours. In a significant development, the country reported its lowest death toll on Sunday as 78 people succumbed to the disease in the same period. According to the health ministry, the 78 fatalities between Saturday and Sunday morning include 25 deaths from Maharashtra, 16 from Kerala, five from Punjab and four each from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The country’s death toll now stands at 154,996.