NEW DELHI, Dec 27: Even as India recorded 529 fresh COVID-19 cases in a single day on Wednesday, the union health ministry reported a wide gap between the first and second vaccine doses compared to the booster doses administered to the eligible people across the country.
According to the data released by the health ministry on Wednesday, a total of 220.67 crore COVID vaccine doses have been administered across the country as on December 21 this year. However, only 22.88 crore precautionary or booster doses have been administered across the country, and mostly among the eligible adult population.
With Wednesday’s fresh cases, the country’s active infection count went up to 4,093 while three new fatalities, two in Karnataka and one in Gujarat, was also reported on Wednesday, according to the ministry’s data updated at 8 a.m.
The number of daily cases had dropped to double-digits till December 5, but infections have again gone up after emergence of a new variant and cold weather conditions. The daily numbers were in lakhs at the peak of the pandemic, which began in early 2020 and has seen more than 4.5 crore people getting infected and over 5.3 lakh deaths in about four years since then across the country.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease stands at more than 4.4 crore with a national recovery rate of 98.81%, according to the ministry’s website. The case fatality rate stands at 1.19%.
Of the total vaccine doses, the data showed, over 97% of eligible citizens received the first dose of the vaccine, while it dropped down to about 90% in case of second dose. Despite the recent increase of people infected with the JN.1 variant, the Health Ministry has ruled out the need for any additional booster or precautionary doses to be administered to the general public. It has, however, issued a recent alert to States asking them to step up testing and surveillance in preparation for any further surge in cases.
A total of 109 JN.1 COVID variant cases have been reported from across the country till Tuesday, including 36 cases from Gujarat, 34 from Karnataka, 14 from Goa, nine from Maharashtra, six from Kerala, four from Rajasthan, four from Tamil Nadu, and two from Telangana.
India launched its national COVID-19 vaccination programme on January 16, 2021, starting by vaccinating health care and front line workers, and senior citizens, subsequently expanding to reach all citizens aged 12 years and above.
“With the administration of 200 crore COVID vaccine doses across the country on 17th July 2022, India achieved a significant milestone of administering over 100 crore doses of COVID vaccines to its eligible adult population in just 9 months and another set of 100 crores vaccine doses have been administered in the next 9 months, depicting sustainability,” said the Ministry.