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NEW DELHI : The government is developing a covid-19 vaccine tracker that will have synergised data giving a week-by-week update of doses in the country, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Thursday. 

 “The tracker will be available on the union health ministry’s website in a few days' time," said Bhargava urging people to get vaccinated as the research has indicated a vaccine effectiveness in preventing mortality with one dose as 96.6% and with two doses as 97.5%. 

The central government during a press briefing on covid-19 management in the country said that the pace of vaccination and coverage is rapidly increasing. The government data showed that the average per-day dose administered has increased from 20 lakhs in May to 78 lakhs in September.  

 “This number is expected to climb even higher. We have administered more vaccines in first 7 days of September than in 30 days of May. Also, 86 lakh doses administered in last 24 hours. We should increase pace of vaccination before festivals. States and Centre should work to vaccinate vulnerable population," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said adding that the country has so far breached the mark of administering 72 crore cumulative vaccine doses.  

The government urged people to participate in the national covid-19 vaccination program and get fully vaccinated with two doses even though they had covid-19 and developed antibodies. “It's clear that two doses show complete protection, 58% above 18 years given single dose, it should be 100%. No one should be left behind. With 72 crores doses administered, those who are left should get their shot to develop herd immunity," said Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog. 

The union health ministry also said that over 58% of India's adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine. Around 18% of the total population has got both the doses. About the vaccination drive, the government said in Sikkim, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Himachal Pradesh all people above 18 years got at least one dose of vaccine, the government data showed. 

Warning that the second wave of covid-19 infections is not over yet, the officials called upon restricted festival celebrations in the coming months. “Low key celebrations of festivals should be encouraged to avoid the spread of Covid. Responsible travel rather than revenge travel should be practiced as the threat is still not over," said Bhargava. At least 43,263 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours in India. 

 “Over 68.59% of the total cases in last week reported from Kerala. Overall declining trend observed across India in weekly positivity since week ending 12th May. Weekly positivity less than 3% for 10th consecutive week. 35 Districts in India are reporting more than 10% weekly Positivity. 30 Districts in India are reporting a weekly Positivity between 5 to 10%," said Bhushan.  

As many states have either opened schools or planning to fully open schools, the centre also indicated that the government is working towards scientific validation of covid-19 vaccines for potential use in children, however, vaccination for children is so far not a requisite for re-opening the schools. 

 “The criterion of vaccination for children before sending them to schools is not being considered anywhere across the globe. So far, no scientific body, epidemiological evidence suggests it as a condition. However, vaccination of teachers and school employees should be mandatorily done," said Paul. 

 “While in India Zydus’s covid-19 vaccine is already licensed for children, only a few countries have introduced vaccination for children. And there is so far no recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO)," he said. 

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