India begins selecting people for priority COVID-19 vaccines as over 60,000 more cases recorded

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Volunteers offer hand sanitizers to devotee arriving at a temple dedicated to Hindu goddess Kali in Jammu, India, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. (AP)
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A worker arranges peacock feathers on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on October 17, 2020. (AFP)
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An employee sanitises a coach as the metro network prepares to resume services after more than a 6-month shutdown due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, at the Andheri metro station in Mumbai on October 17, 2020. (AFP)
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A woman (C) carries a basket filled with flowers to sell on a street in Mumbai on October 17, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 October 2020

India begins selecting people for priority COVID-19 vaccines as over 60,000 more cases recorded

  • India has recorded the world's second-largest number of cases after the US
  • Worries have been high that there may be further spikes during the ongoing festival season

MUMBAI: India’s coronavirus infections rose by another 62,212 cases over the previous day and a local media report said on Saturday that the government had begun identifying about 300 million people who would be given the vaccine first when it is ready.
The Times of India said that frontline health and sanitation workers, police officials and elderly people with co-morbidities will get the vaccine on priority.
The plan, which is still in the draft stage, aims to cover 23 percent of the population in the first phase. The final plan is likely to be ready by end October-November, the report said.
The selected individuals will be given an estimated 600 million doses.
Earlier this month, health minister Harsh Vardhan had said that India hopes to receive up to 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccines by July next year to inoculate about 250 million people.
Officials have said that giving the vaccine to India’s 1.3 billion people will be a mammoth exercise, likely to stretch well into 2022.
India's cumulative tally of coronavirus infections stood at 7.43 million on Saturday, having risen by 62,212 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed.
But the number of active infections slipped below 800,000 for the first time in 1.5 months, which the ministry called a significant achievement.
India has recorded the world's second-largest number of cases after the United States and worries have been high that there may be further spikes during the ongoing festival season.

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