Setting a deadline for completing vaccinating frontline workers by March 6, Union Joint Health Secretary Mandeep Bhandari on Friday, said at least one round of vaccination must be scheduled by March 1. Stating those who have not been vaccinated for any reason must be vaccinated by March 6, he said that the scheduling of the first round of vaccination of healthcare workers must be scheduled by February 20 and completed by February 25. As of date, India has vaccinated 77,66,319 beneficiaries of which 58,65,813 are healthcare workers.

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Bhandari added, "Hospitalisation recorded to date as a part of COVID vaccination is 33. Of which, 21 discharged from hospital, 2 under treatment & 10 deaths recorded. Percentage of hospitalisation as against total vaccinations constitutes 0.0004%. The new event of hospitalisation reported in the last 24 hours is a case of anaphylaxis, which was treated at Murshidabad Medical College & Hospital in West Bengal & has been since discharged from the hospital".

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India's vaccination drive fastest

On Thursday, India achieved another landmark as it became the fastest country in the world to administer 7 million COVID-vaccines doses - in 26 days. In comparison, US took 27 days and Britain took 48 days to accomplish this figures, stated Ministry of Health and Family welfare. The UK and the US, both kick-started their inoculation drives in December.

India becomes fastest country to administer 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines

DCGI gives nod to COVISHIELD & COVAXIN

On January 3, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) VG Somani announced that the vaccines of Serum Institue of India (Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) have been granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation. Covishield - a Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine - has an efficacy of 70.42%, with interim safety and immunogenicity data of Phase-II/III trials submitted to the SEC. Covaxin - a Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine - 22,500 participants vaccinated in Phase-III trials and was found to be safe as per the data available till date. Meanwhile, Zydus-Cadilla's nCov-Vaccine using DNA platform technology has been allowed to conduct Phase-III clinical trial in 26000 Indian participants. Apart from these vaccines, another vaccine candidate - Sputnik V - produced by Russian government-Dr. Reddy's Labs has sought to continue phase-3 clinical trials and Bharat Biotech has sought to conduct phase-1 trials of nasal COVID-19 vaccine.

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