India achieved a significant milestone in its ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive today. On the 130th day of the drive, the cumulative COVID Vaccination Coverage crossed the 20 crore mark (with 20,06,62,456 doses including 15,71,49,593 first dose and 4,35,12,863 second dose of COVID-19 vaccines), as per data available at 07:00 AM today. India’s COVID-19 Vaccination drive, the world’s largest vaccination drive so far, was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 16th January 2021. India is the second country after the USA to achieve this coverage in just 130 days. The USA took 124 days to reach the 20 crore mark. As per the latest available data with the Union Health Ministry, over 34 percent population above 45 years has received at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine in India till date. Similarly, over 42 percent of 60+ years of population in India has received at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine. As of date, India is using three vaccines against COVID-19 in its immunization drive; these include two made in India vaccines - Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The Russian Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Emergency Use Authorisation and is being used in few private hospitals which are expected to be increased over the coming days. In Phase I of the vaccination drive, started 130 days ago on 16th January, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) prioritized Health Care Workers, and Front Line Workers (both government & private sector). Phase II of the vaccination drive started from 1st March 202, focused on protecting the most vulnerable age groups. These prioritized age-groups included persons above 60 years of age and persons above 45 years with associated specified co-morbidities. This was further relaxed to all people above 45 years of age on 1st April 2021. In Phase III, ‘Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy’ was adopted on 1st May 2021. Under this strategy, everyone above 18 years of age are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
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MoS V. Muraleedharan lamented on the member states for encouraging terrorist forces and groups in Africa. New Delhi: India on Tuesday (October 12) expressed serious concern on the 'increase' in the spread of terrorism in Africa and lamented that many member states have had encouraged the terror groups. "The increasing spread of terrorism in Africa is a matter of serious concern. What is even more unfortunate is that these terrorist forces and groups are receivin ...