India’s vaccine supplies will get a major lift when the country begins using Zydus Cadila’s DNA-based vaccine beginning in the first week of October. Health ministry officials say over 473 million people have received the first dose and another 138 million have received both shots. That covers just over 50 percent of India’s adult population based on the country’s projected midyear count for 2020.
The country’s daily vaccination drive also ramped up in August with over 5.2 million administered, compared with 4.3 million shots administered in July.
Government officials have said they are aiming to vaccinate all Indians by the end of this year. But some Indian states are still struggling with the vaccination drive because of the resource disparities and the sheer size of the population.
Officials are cautioning against relaxing attitudes, one reason behind the devastating second wave of the coronavirus that struck earlier this year.
Balram Bhargava, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, a top government science body, said on Thursday that although vaccines reduce the severity and reduce chances of hospitalization, people should continue with wearing masks. Relaxed attitudes, he said, could have disastrous consequences.