COVID-19 vaccination drive: Inoculation of those above 50 years to begin in March

So far, more than five million people in India have been vaccinated against COVID-19 infection.

With vaccination against the novel Coronavirus kickstarting for healthcare and frontline workers last month, the focus of India is now shifting to vaccinate its third priority group. People above 50 years of age, a group which is expected to be of 27 crore people, will now be vaccinated starting next month, a report by The Indian Express citing Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. It is to note that the government had earlier stated that it will be vaccinating people in phases where the first phase (began January 16) and the second phase (began February 2) focused on inoculating healthcare workers and frontline workers, respectively.

The health minister in Lok Sabha on Friday highlighted that after these two phases are completed, the government is now focusing on vaccinating people in the third phase. This could begin at any time in March and people above the age of 50 years will be given vaccination shots. Vardhan said it would be difficult to comment on the exact date however, the third phase of vaccination drive is likely to begin in the third or fourth week of March.

So far, more than five million people in India have been vaccinated against COVID-19 infection. India has also been ranked on top for vaccinating more than 4 million people in just 18 days when compared to other countries having their vaccination drive.

Meanwhile, India is also helping other countries to get vaccination jabs. So far, it has supplied 56 lakh doses of vaccine to 15 nations through grants and 105 lakh doses of vaccine are said to be given via contract. Vardhan highlighted that 22 countries have placed their demands before India for COVID-19 vaccines. These countries include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Egypt, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Sri Lanka and UAE among others.

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