As many as 86 per cent of India's eligible population has received the first dose of COVID vaccine and the government wishes that 100 per cent vaccination is achieved at the earliest, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday.
Sharing data about the COVID vaccination levels in other countries, including the US, Germany and France, the minister said that India has been doing well on the vaccination front.
Replying to supplementary questions in the Lok Sabha, Mandaviya also said that 7 crore vaccines are lying with states and also cautioned against possible vaccine hesistancy that could be triggered by claims of health complications after vaccination.
During the question hour, he said that 86 per cent of the eligible population has received the first COVID dose and "we wish that 100 per cent vaccination happens at the earliest".
To a query related to Omicron, he said that studies are going on and only after the studies are complete, it will be known which vaccine is how much effective against the new variant.
Currently, 23 cases of Omicron have been reported in the country while worldwide, a total of 59 countries have reported such cases.
There are 36 laboratories for genome sequencing in the country now. These laboratories can do 30,000 genome sequencing and the capacity is being increased with the help of private laboratories, Mandaviya said.
In a written reply, he said the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) are deliberating and considering scientific evidences related to dose schedule of vaccines and the need for justification for booster dose.
As on December 6, "about 80.02 crore eligible beneficiaries (85.2 per cent) (i.e. persons aged 18 years & above) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 47.91 crore (51.0 per cent) have received both the doses of the vaccine", he added.
The COVID vaccination drive started in January this year.