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COVID-19: Centre Calls Suspension Of AstraZeneca Vaccine In Nations A 'precautionary Step'

On Wednesday, the Health Ministry during a press briefing took up the matter of AstraZeneca suspension in countries, and called it a precautionary measure.

The Health Ministry, during a briefing on COVID-19 on Wednesday, touched upon reports of suspension of the administration of AstraZeneca vaccine in around 10 countries and outlined that some thrombotic events have been observed in people who have been administered the vaccine. Citing the reporters of the European Medicines Agency, he said that the step has been taken as a precautionary measure and there is no data, assessment being done. 

"India's group that looks at adverse effects is aware of the issue and are tracking the information available," he added while making it clear that there is no signal of concern in this regard. 

Vaccination Drive 

Taking India's case, the Ministry informed that till 5 pm of March 17, around 3.51 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Out of the given figure, 75.07 lakh health workers have been administered the first dose while the second dose has been given to 45.55 lakh health workers. 76 lakh frontline workers have been administered the first dose while the second dose has been given to 16.48 lakh frontline workers. Also, 1.38 crore people above 60 years and 45-60 years with co-morbidities have been administered the first dose of the vaccine

The Ministry also took the opportunity to discuss the wastage of vaccine in certain states.  Elaborating on the same, the Ministry stated," India's overall percentage of COVID19 vaccine wastage is 6.5%. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh recorded 17.6% and 11.6 % of vaccine wastage respectively. "

"It is a precious commodity, "The Ministry said while expressing its disappointment on the same, and directed the States to be more cautious. 

India COVID-19 cases

Meanwhile, India reported 28,903 new COVID19,  swelling up the total cases in the country to 1,14,38,734 and 188 deaths in the last 24 hours swelling up the death toll to 1,59,044. as per the Union Health Ministry.

In the past two weeks, the total number of cases that were showing a downward trend has again begun to rise considerably. Today, 43 percent week-on-week increase in new COVID19 cases and nearly 37 percent week on week increase in new deaths has been recorded, informed the Ministry.

Around 70 districts in 16 State have registered an increase in COVID-19 cases by 150%. 


The Ministry has blamed non-compliance to COVID appropriate behaviour, which includes wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing among others, as the major cause for the rise in cases. 

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