With over 13 lakhs Covid jabs being given today, the cumulative number of coronavirus vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 8.83 Crore mark.

These include 89,65,839 healthcare workers who got the 1st dose and 54,04,837 healthcare workers who took the 2nd dose, 97,40,281 frontline workers who took the 1st dose, 43,35,473 frontline workers got their second dose. Also 2,26,42,318 citizens over 45 years old to 59 years old got their first, while 4,47,060 in this group got their second. Also 3,57,78,684 citizen over 60 years, got the first dose and 10,57,785 their second.

Earlier in the day, the Union health ministry noted, India has surpassed the US to become the fastest COVID-19 vaccinating country in the world with an average daily rate of 30,93,861 vaccine doses.

Total 13,14,623 vaccine doses were given till 8 pm today, the 82nd day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination. Out of which 12,04,551 beneficiaries were vaccinated for 1st dose and 1,10,072 beneficiaries received 2nd dose of the vaccine as per the provisional report.

As a fresh wave of COVID-19 forced a sense of urgency in India’s vaccination campaign, the Centre allowed administering of shots at workplaces with about 100 eligible beneficiaries from April 11 and asserted that there was no vaccine shortage after Maharashtra and some other states complained about it.

The Centre, meanwhile on Wednesday, wrote to Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi governments regarding below-par vaccination of eligible beneficiaries, including healthcare workers. In a letter to the principal secretaries of Punjab, Delhi and Maharashtra, the Additional Health Secretary Manohar Agnani said that the performance of these states and UT have been below the national average. And it needs improvement.

Also as the chorus for relaxing age criteria for vaccination grew louder, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan alleged that the states were trying to cover their “failures” and spread panic among the people by demanding vaccination for all without first inoculating enough of the eligible beneficiaries.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also batted for the COVID-19 vaccine for all, saying every Indian “deserves the chance to a safe life”. Similar demands for relaxing the age restriction have been made by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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