On February 6, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in Amaravati, “India has so far supplied COVID- 19 vaccine to 15 countries and another 25 nations are in the queue at different levels for the jab”. He further added that there are three categories of countries which are keen to get the vaccine from India — poor, price sensitive nations and other countries which directly deal with pharmaceutical companies that make the antidote.
“I think right now we have already supplied to about 15 countries [as per my recollection]. I would say there would be another about 25 countries which are at different stages in the pipeline. But what it has done is today it has put India on the map of the world,” said Jaishankar. Indeed a proud moment for India and it’s scientist community. India is not only leading the world in vaccinating it’s people at a much faster pace, rather has already helped many of it’s neighbouring countries by sending the doses free of cost.
According to the Union Health Ministry, “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.” 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.
The government further added, “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 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.
Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “The third phase of vaccination – which will cover 27 crore people aged 50 and those with co-morbidities – is likely to commence in March”. 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.