To vaccinate the entire eligible population against COVID-19 as soon as possible, the vaccine production in the country has been increased from 2.5 lakh doses per day to around 40 lakh doses per day, said Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State (MoS) for Health on Friday. Speaking further, the MoS informed that trials are underway for the COVID vaccine for children.
"Initially, around 2.5 lakh vaccines were produced per day. Today it has increased to around 40 lakhs per day. I think with this rise in the production capacity, we will be able to vaccinate people in an even better manner," said Pawar.
She said that it is a matter of pride that vaccination numbers crossed the 50 crore mark in the country, and added that through (media), the government is spreading the message that vaccination is important in the fight against Corona.
The Minister emphasised that the government has made continuous efforts to ensure that vaccines reach people and informed that trials of vaccines for children are underway.
"Centre is making continuous efforts towards this. The vaccine is prepared on basis of efficacy, immunogenicity, and other parameters. Trials (of vaccines for Children) are underway keeping safety measures in mind. We're trying to introduce it soon," she added.
Pawar appreciated the role of media during the COVID pandemic and said the Centre will always stand with media persons and their families for risking their lives while reporting from the ground.
Over 50 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India
Meanwhile, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has surpassed 50 crore with more than 43.29 lakh doses given on Friday, the Union health ministry said. "India soars high on #COVID19 vaccination, historic record of 50 crore doses administered to date!" Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet.
Elaborating on the increasing pace of vaccination, he said the country took 85 days to touch the figure of 10 crore. It then took 45 days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach 30 crore. India took another 24 days to reach 40 crore and 20 more days to cross 50 crore vaccinations.
"In a significant achievement, India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed the 50-crore landmark milestone (50,03,48,866)," the health ministry said.
More than 43.29 lakh (43,29,673) doses were administered on Friday, according to a provisional report complied at 7 pm.
The ministry said 22,93,781 beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years were administered the first dose, while 4,32,281 received the second dose of the vaccine on Friday.
Cumulatively, 17,23,20,394 people in the said age group have received the first dose and 1,12,56,317 have received the second dose of the vaccine across all states and Union territories since the start of the third phase of the vaccination drive.
Five states -- Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh -- have administered more than one crore cumulative doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each to beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group, the ministry said.
Also, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have administered the first dose of the vaccine to more than 10 lakh beneficiaries each in the 18-44 age group.
(With inputs from agencies)