Queen Elizabeth receives second COVID-19 jab before maskless appearance

People drink outside a pub that is open for takeaway drinks amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in London Britain

He also asked states to ensure universal vaccination of already registered healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) at the earliest. Amid the alarming rise, the Centre has also warned that the situation is going from "bad to worse" and urged states to achieve 100 per cent vaccination coverage of those above the age of 45 years in surge districts within the next two weeks. From those above 60 and those between 45 and 60 with comorbidities to those above 45 without any illness, the vaccination net has been expanding fast, though there is concern of a second COVID-19 wave in several states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, which will cover 65 lakh people aged above 45 in the national capital, began on Thursday.

People started getting the vaccine jab across the country at various vaccination centres.

In the letter, Bhushan said that the timeline for completion of vaccination for all in the priority group was fixed at February 25 for HCWs and March 6 for FLWs.

But, "various inputs have been received from different sources that in some of the Covid-19 vaccination centres (CVCs), some ineligible beneficiaries are being registered as HCWs [healthcare workers] and FLWs [frontline workers] and are getting vaccinated in complete violation of the prescribed guidelines", he said.

Australian officials lift Brisbane lockdown as Covid-19 cases dwindle
Dr Young praised the "astronomical amount" of testing being done, with more than 35,000 tests carried out in the past 24 hours. Casual contacts will need to get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result and monitor for symptoms.

Sites across the state administered almost 250,000 vaccines in the past 24 hours, according to Cuomo.

These include 83,06,269 healthcare workers (1st dose), 52,84,564 HCWs (2nd dose), 93,53,021 frontline workers (1st dose) and 40,97,634 FLWs (2nd Dose), 97,83,615 (1st Dose) and 39,401 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities and 3,17,05,893 (1st Dose) and 2,18,741 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged more than 60 years, it said. "I request you to kindly direct the officials concerned for wider dissemination of this policy decision for compliance".

India aims to vaccinate 4 crore people by August, but experts say the pace needs to pick up further to meet the target.

This comes at a time when India is witnessing a second surge in coronavirus infections with over 72,000 new COVID-19 cases and 459 related deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

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