The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to healthcare and frontline workers has crossed 1.37 crore on Friday. A total of 1,37,56,940 vaccine doses have been given through 2,89,320 sessions, as per the provisional report till 6 p.m., noted a Health Ministry release.
Second national wave of infections unlikely, says expert
A recent surge in infections notwithstanding, India is unlikely to see a “second wave” in infections, according to Deputy Director at IIT, Kanpur, Manindra Agrawal, also one of India’s leading mathematicians and among those involved with the National ‘Super Model’ initiative, led by the Department of Science and Technology.
As on Friday, India has confirmed a little over 11 million infections since March 2020 of which 1,52,895 were active ones. Prof. Agrawal told The Hindu that based on the model, this would at most rise to 11.3 or 11.5 million infections by April 2021 — or about 3,00,000-5,00,000 new confirmed infections over the next 10 weeks (approx).
Sputnit V vaccine
Panel seeks more data to give emergency use authorisation for Sputnik V vaccine
A Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has sought more data on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine trials from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories to accord emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The committee recommended that [the] firm should submit immunogenicity and safety data of Phase II and III trial as per approved protocol for further consideration. Further, the firm is requested to present its data with more clarity,” minutes of the February 24 meeting of the SEC made public on Friday said.
India unlikely to meet its target of 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by July
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in October 2020 that India is expected to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses and cover approximately 200-250 million people by July 2021. If India continues to vaccinate at the current pace, it will have administered just 60 million doses by July 31, 2021 — about 15% of the intended target.
To meet the target, India needs to administer 2.44 million doses a day in the remaining days, against just 0.3 million doses a day at present. However, 40 days into the campaign, the pace of vaccination is yet to pick up, unlike in most other nations with a high burden.
Free RT-PCR tests for foreign travellers
The mandatory RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 at airports for foreign travellers coming into the State will be done free of cost by the State government, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja has said.
The Minister said here on Friday that as the Centre had given strict instructions regarding the conduct of RT-PCR tests for those coming from abroad, the tests cannot be avoided. The traveller would be allowed to leave the airport after giving the sample and the results would be sent within 6-8 hours to the mobile number provided.
Vaccine registration norms
Select a COVID-19 vaccination centre, book appointment
The Union Health Ministry on Friday announced options for advance self registration, on-site registration and facilitated cohort registration for potential beneficiaries of the second round of COVID vaccinations, starting on March 1.
The second round of vaccination will cover those over 60 years of age and 45+ with comorbidities.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)