In the vaccination drive, the country has achieved several milestones, which have no precedent in the world, including administering over 100 crore doses in less than nine months, administering 2.51 crore doses in a single day and several times administering one crore doses in a day, it said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that current Covid-19 vaccines may need to be updated if they are to provide continued protection against emerging variants, including Omicron.
"Great Going, my Young Friends. Over 2 crore youngsters between the 15-18 age group have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in less than a week of vaccination drive for children," Mandaviya tweeted.
According to a source, Bharat Biotech aims to conduct clinical trials on 5,000 healthy subjects: half or 2,500 individuals who have received Covishield and another 2,500 who have been administered Covaxin.
Only Covaxin vaccine has been given to those who are in the 15-18 age group.
Mishra said that a person is eligible to get the dose if the gap between the second dose of Covid vaccine and the registration date for the booster is more than 9 months (39 weeks).
At present, the State has 7.05 lakh healthcare and frontline workers and around 10.47 lakh people above 60 years with co-morbidities, said the top health official.
Over 25 lakh eligible beneficiaries between 15-18 years age group in Odisha will start receiving doses from January 3.
India charts a separate way. Addressing the nation on Saturday, PM Narendra Modi announced that children in the 15-18 years age group will now get COVID-19 vaccines starting 3rd January 2022. The government has also decided that precaution dose of vaccine will be started for frontline workers and healthcare workers and elderly with co-morbid conditions.
The vaccine has been approved for emergency use in 10 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Pakistan, where this current clinical trial took place.
The Union Health Ministry said that the number of cases of new Covid strain Omicron has crossed the 200 -mark in India.
A health team in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh travelled 24 kilometres on foot to reach Shankli village atop the hills to administer the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine to beneficiaries.
"Let us ensure collectively that no eligible citizen is left without the 'Suraksha Kawachh' of Covid-19 vaccine in the country, and address issues of hesitancy, misinformation, superstition etc", said Mandaviya.
Among the age group of 18-44 years, a total of 44,03,91,026 shots of the first dose and 18,67,51,559 jabs of the second dose have been administered so far.
The government is currently procuring two other vaccines -- Covishield at Rs 205 per dose and Covaxin at Rs 215 per dose -- for the national COVID-19 immunisation programme.
Modi also expressed gratitude to all the vaccine manufacturing companies of the country, workers engaged in vaccine transportation and health sector professionals engaged in administering the vaccines.
The top five states which have administered the highest number of doses are Uttar Pradesh followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Bharat Biotech recently said it has submitted all data pertaining to Covaxin to the WHO for the EUL and is awaiting feedback from the global health watchdog.
The Health Ministry has planned that the feat will be celebrated as India's triumph over Covid 'evil spirit' much like the 'Vijayadashami' festival, which signifies the victory of good over evil.
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has given the necessary approval for the administration of the anti-Covid vaccine to children.
Since the end of September, several Covid-19 vaccines have been certified by the WHO UEL, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Covishield.
Conservative MP Bob Seely, an expert in Russian affairs, said: "I think we need to get serious about Russian and Chinese espionage. Whether it is stealing the design for AstraZeneca or blackmailing us over energy by these authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, we need to get wise to them."
Earlier this year, the WHO had set a target for all countries to vaccinate 10 per cent of their populations by the end of September, but 56 countries didn't make it.
As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the government has been supporting states and UTs by providing them COVID-19 vaccines for free, the ministry said.
Odisha Health Director Bijay Mohapatra urged the people in the State to get double doses of vaccines at the earliest as the effect of post-Covid effects on the fully vaccinated people are less.