Terming the low coverage of Covid vaccination among the healthcare and frontline workers a cause of “serious concern”, the Centre Thursday advised the states and Union Territories to prepare effective plans for expediting the second dose coverage among these priority groups, PTI reported. At a high-level meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan with the states to review vaccination progress, it was highlighted that while the national average for the first dose administration among the healthcare workers (HCWs) is 82 per cent, for the second dose, it is only 56 per cent, a statement issued by the health ministry said.
Delhi on Thursday recorded 305 Covid-19 new cases and 44 deaths while taking the positivity rat down to 0.41%. On Wednesday, the national capital had recorded 337 fresh infections with a positivity rate of 0.46 per cent and 36 fatalities.
India, in the last 24 hours, has reported 94,052 Covid-19 cases, and 6,148 deaths in the last 24 hours. This is the highest number of deaths that the country has seen in a day since the start of the pandemic. The jump in deaths come after Bihar revised its toll on Wednesday, adding 3,951 previously uncounted deaths to its tally.
Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said that the full data of phase III trials for Covaxin will be made public in July, ANI reported. The data will be first submitted to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, followed by peer-reviewed journals with a timeline of three months for publication. Bharat Biotech told ANI once the final analysis of the phase III data is available, it would apply for a full licensure for Covaxin.
Bharat Biotech had earlier said that Covaxin has demonstrated overall interim clinical efficacy of 78 per cent, and 100 per cent efficacy against severe Covid-19 disease in phase III trials. The interim analysis was based on more than 87 symptomatic cases of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to provide free vaccines to states for all citizens over 18 years from June 21 is likely to cost the exchequer an additional Rs 15,000 crore compared with the Budget allocation of Rs 35,000 crore. “It is too early to give a correct estimate with multiple suppliers and different prices. But the rough estimate is total expenditure for vaccines for this year may be Rs 45,000-50,000 crore. In the Budget, we had provided Rs 35,000 crore, and of this, the government has paid out about Rs 5,000 crore,” a senior government official who did not wish to be named told The Indian Express.