The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated and the vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2.
Italians, however, are upset over the country's stumbling vaccination campaign, which despite having promised to prioritize older people has left many of Italy's eldest, most vulnerable people behind while teachers, police officers and other professional workers get their jabs. Under the third phase of the world's biggest vaccination drive against the deadly pathogen, the country aims to vaccinate all those who are 45 and above 45 years of age.
Of the 36,71,242 vaccine doses, 33,65,597 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 51,215 sessions for the first dose and 3,05,645 beneficiaries received the second dose of vaccine, the Health ministry said in a statement. He said that a month has passed since the deadlines and even after starting vaccination of the population of over 60 years, provisions were made to register and vaccinate all HCWs and FLWs. He said there had been a 24% increase in the database of healthcare workers on the CoWin portal in the past few days.
Bhushan said that the matter was discussed with state representatives and domain knowledge experts in a meeting of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, where it was decided that no fresh registrations in categories of HCWs and FLWs will be allowed with immediate effect.
The next phase of the vaccination drive commenced on March 1 for those over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. "I request you to kindly direct the officials concerned for wider dissemination of this policy decision for compliance. However, universal vaccination of already registered HCWs and FLWs should be ensured at the earliest", he added.
The latest data also showed there were 3,423 new cases, a slight rise from 3,402 reported the day before, though unlike countries such as France and Germany which are battling a third wave of the coronavirus, infections in Britain have been steadily falling.
Cumulatively, more than 6.87 crore (6,87,89,138) vaccine doses have been administered through 11,37,456 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am on Friday.