Amid reports of blood clotting that have emerged from some European countries, the government has said that the scientific community has found no issue with Covishield and that it would continue administering the vaccine. While addressing a Health Ministry briefing, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul said, "There were concerns of blood clotting in other nations. We have checked and our own scientific community has not found any issue. We will continue to use Covishield for vaccination in India."
Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is the Indian variant of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. It is one of the two coronavirus vaccines -- along with Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- to be administered in India's vaccination drive.
Health ministry officials told the media that over 5 crore vaccination doses have been administered in the country.
The ministry officials said that the next phase that will allow people over 45 years of age to get vaccinated will be crucial because 88 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths in India has taken place among the age group of 45 years and above.
However, the ministry officials said that increase in cases in Maharashtra and Punjab are of grave concern. "Two states are of grave concern that have shown a recent surge in cases are- Maharashtra, that reported more than 28,000 cases in the last 24 hours, and Punjab, that is reporting a huge number of cases in proportion to its population," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
The officials also flagged concerns about increase in cases in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, and Chandigarh.