Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Dr Balram Bhargava on Thursday said, one dose of Covid-19 vaccine is 96.6 per cent effective in preventing death, while two doses prevent death by 97.5 per cent.
Balram Bhargava citing data collected between April 18, 2021, till August 15 said vaccination prevents deaths, adding that most deaths in the second wave of Covid-19 in April-May were recorded among the unvaccinated.
"This vaccine protective effect against death is there in all age groups, whether it be 60 and above, whether it be 45-59 and 18-44 years," Dr Balram Bhargava added.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who was also speaking at the press briefing, said that the pace of vaccination and coverage is rapidly increasing. "The average per-day dose administered has increased from 20 lakh in May to 78 lakh in September. This number is expected to climb even higher".
"We have administered more vaccines in the first seven days of September than in 30 days of May. Eighty-six lakh doses have been administered in the last 24 hours. We should increase the pace of vaccination before festivals. States and Centre should work to vaccinate vulnerable population," Rajesh Bhushan added.
Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog member and head of Covid task force, said it's clear that two doses show complete protection.
He also added, "58% above 18 years given single dose, it should be 100%. No one should be left behind. About 72 crore vaccine doses given. Those left should get administered to develop herd immunity.
Meanwhile, India witnessed a spike of 14 per cent in the daily new cases on Thursday as the country recorded 43,263 new infections in the last 24 hours.
The report also said that a total of 53,68,17,243 samples for Covid-19 have been tested in the country, of which 18,17,639 were tested in the last 24 hours.
On the other hand, India has so far administered over 71 crore (71,65,97,428) doses of Covid vaccines, out of which 86,51,701 doses were administered in the last 24 hours.