Coronavirus live updates |Vaccination for people above 50 years to begin from March, says ICMR

18 States/UTs did not report any new deaths in the last 24 hours.

The population above 50 years of age, and people with co-morbidities in the 20 to 50 years age group are scheduled to start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from March onwards, said All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria on Friday, while answering questions related to the COVID-19 vaccination drive. He was speaking at an interactive programme organised by the Health Ministry.

Dr. Guleria, while explaining that while it was not clear for how long the COVID-19 vaccination offers protection, said: “A good amount of antibodies will develop in about 14 days after the second vaccine shot. Though the exact time length about the protection offered is not clear, we believe that the cover will last for at least eight months, or may be longer.”

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According to Union Health Minstry, a total of 77,66,319 beneficiaries had been vaccinated till 6 p.m. on February 12, 2020, as per the provisional reports, with no case of serious/severe adverse effects or deaths attributable to vaccination till date.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Healthcare workers to get second COVID-19 vaccine dose from today

The second COVID-19 vaccination drive will start from Saturday and eligible healthcare workers have been informed by authorities concerned, said officials.

There will be no extra arrangements made at vaccination sites for the second dose, they said, adding that new beneficiaries will also be able to take the first dose at all sites. A total of 14,843 beneficiaries, healthcare and frontline workers, took the COVID-19 vaccination in the city on Friday — the highest so far.

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Melbourne starts five-day virus lockdown

Australia’s second most populous state Victoria entered a five-day lockdown on Saturday as authorities raced to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 cases sparked by the highly infections UK variant. One new locally acquired case was confirmed in the past 24 hours, Victoria health authorities said on Saturday, taking the number of active cases in the state to 20.

"A lot of people will be hurting today. This is not the position Victorians wanted to be in but I can’t have a situation where in two weeks’ time, we look back and wish we had taken these decisions now," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Saturday.

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Include the physically challenged in priority group for vaccination: High Court

The Madras High Court on Friday ordered notices, returnable by three weeks, to the Centre and the State government on a public interest litigation petition, which insisted upon including the physically challenged in the priority group for administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy sought the response of the governments on the petition filed by polio survivor Meenakshi Balasubramanian from Chennai, who stated that the physically challenged faced increased risks and devastating consequences.

Four AEFI reported in Karnataka

Four serious adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) were reported in the State on Friday taking the total AEFIs to 14. Although officials did not share the nature of these AEFIs, they said these events were reported in Chickballapur, Udupi, Shivamogga and Kalaburgi and all have been hospitalised.

With 82,825 of the targeted 2,86,562 frontline workers getting vaccinated so far, the coverage for this group remained at 29% in Karnataka till Friday. However, 50% of the targeted 8,20,791 healthcare workers have been vaccinated so far. Bengaluru Rural district continued to record the lowest coverage with 13%. Tumkuru recorded the highest coverage with 71%.

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