India reports the highest number of infections since Oct. 11, with the vaccination program open to people over 45.
India reported 72,330 new COVID-19 infections, the highest since Oct. 11, according to data from the Ministry of Health, as the vaccination program was open to people over 45.
The third-worst-affected country in the world reported 459 deaths in the past 24 hours on Thursday, bringing the total to 162,927, the data showed. India’s overall workload was 12.22 million.
As infections increased, India also expanded its vaccination schedule on Thursday to include people over 45.
The move will delay vaccine exports from the world’s largest drug maker.
India has so far injected 64 million doses to its population but has exported almost as many. This has drawn criticism from us, as India’s per capita vaccination figure is much lower than that of many countries.
The government has previously said that people over 45 can sign up for the vaccination starting April 1.
India initially focused on frontline workers, the elderly and people with other health conditions, unlike some richer countries which made all of their adults eligible for vaccination.
The government says it is working towards this goal. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted that there would be no vaccine shortage in the country when the vaccination program opened.
“Center for continually restocking state supplies,” he said on Twitter. “Avoid overstocking and under-stocks.”
India has already decided to delay major vaccine exports for now, including to the World Health Organization-backed global vaccine alliance, COVAX.
He is currently using the AstraZeneca vaccine and a vaccine developed at home by Bharat Biotech, which is struggling to increase its supplies. India’s drug regulator is expected to approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine soon.