Coronavirus Live News Updates: Serum Institute of India hopes to launch COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covovax’ by September, said Adar Poonawalla
Any adult can walk in to the nearest vaccination centre to get registered on the CoWIN digital platform and be inoculated against COVID-19 , the Union Health Ministry said.
It is not mandatory to pre-register online or book an appointment to get the vaccine, the government said, as it seeks to increase the pace of vaccinations and tackle the ‘vaccine hesitancy’ it has blamed for the slow rollout of vaccines in parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the first death due to vaccination was reported in India, even as India said the benefits of inoculation far exceed its harms. The government panel studying COVID vaccine’s severe adverse effects said the death occurred due to anaphylaxis following inoculation.
The decision regarding enhancing interval between two doses of Covishield was based on scientific evidence and taken in a transparent manner, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization Chair NK Arora said.
The government had on 13 May said it has accepted the COVID-19 Working Group’s recommendation and extended the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks. “Based on the available real-life evidence, particularly from the UK, the COVID-19 Working Group agreed for increasing the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks between two doses of Covishield vaccine. No change in the interval of Covaxin vaccine doses was recommended,” the ministry had said in a statement.
As the Covid positivity rate dropped to two percent in Punjab, the state government eased restrictions, allowing restaurants, cinema halls and gyms to operate at 50 percent capacity beginning Wednesday.
Under fresh guidelines, which will be in effect till 25 June, daily night curfew will be in place from 8 pm to 5 am and weekend curfew from 8 pm on Saturday up to 5 am on Monday across the state, according to a government statement.
All restaurants, including those in hotels, cafes, coffee shops, fast food outlets, dhabas, and cinemas and gyms at maximum 50 percent capacity, subject to all their employees having received at least one dose of Covid vaccine.
Air-conditioned buses can also ply with 50 percent occupation. Bars, pubs and ”ahatas” (taverns) shall, however, continue to remain closed, the statement said. All educational institutions will also continue to be closed.