India is set to cross the 100 crore vaccination target in October as the central government is likely to showcase its Covid-19 vaccination programme in the upcoming election as a big achievement. The country has so far administered more than 96 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Looking at the pace of vaccination, India may achieve the target early next week. While 73% of the eligible people have received the first dose, 29% have got both doses, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. Amid the festive rush, there is a fear of third-wave among people, with some parts of the country already witnessing a surge in fresh Coronavirus infections for the past few days. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the focus is now on vaccinating the entire population at the earliest, and the government will consider exporting Covid-19 vaccine doses only in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, India added 18,987 fresh Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its overall Covid-19 tally to 3,40,20,730, according to data from the Union Health Ministry on Thursday. With 246 new fatalities, the Covid-19 death toll surged to 4,51,435, the Health Ministry said. The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has stayed below 20,000 for the past six consecutive days, below 30,000 for 20 straight days, and less than 50,000 for 109 consecutive days. The number of active Covid-19 cases in the country has declined to 2,06,586 and now accounts for 0.61% of the total infections while the national Covid recovery rate has improved to 98.07%, the ministry said.
The Covid-19 situation in the country is under control, with the vaccination drive continuing at a robust pace. Both fresh infections and active cases have been declining steadily. The country has been reporting below 20,000 new Covid-19 cases for the past few days. However, eminent scientist Prof G Padmanaban feels India might need a third dose of vaccine by the middle of next year. He said, “The Delta variant is not the end of the story. The larger question is – do we have a vaccine for every variant being created? Perhaps not. So, I feel that by the middle of next year, India may need a third dose of vaccine. According to sources, India has not decided yet on the booster doses for Covid-19.