An Indian woman reacts as she gets inoculated against the coronavirus vaccine in Gauhati, October 21, 2021. India has administered 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, passing a milestone for the South Asian country where the delta variant fueled its first crushing surge this year   | Photo Credit: AP

Coronavirus live | India registers 15,786 new Covid cases

More than 104.5 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to States and Union Territories so far, the Union Health Ministry said on October 22

by · The Hindu

Indian vaccine manufacturers on October 21 raised the issue of easy availability of raw material from global markets for making COVID-19 vaccines, during their meeting with World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala here, sources said.

Editorial | Scripting history: On 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses

Read | Responding to adversity with achievement

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:

Celebrate festivals with precaution, says PM Modi in address to nation

No matter how good the cover is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour gives a complete guarantee of protection, weapons are not given up while the battle is on. There is no reason to get careless. Celebrate festivals with utmost precautions, advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22, in his address to the nation on achieving the milestone of 100 crore vaccinations.

Stating that people needed to be constantly careful, Mr. Modi said the vaccination coverage came with the challenge of needing to scale up the production.

Read more

Beijing offering COVID-19 booster shots ahead of Olympics

China's capital Beijing has begun offering booster shots against COVID-19, four months before the city and surrounding regions are to host the Winter Olympics.

Anyone 18 or older who have received two-dose Chinese vaccines and belong to at-risk groups, including those participating, organising or working on games facilities, would be eligible for the additional shot, state media reported October 22. -AP

India registers 15,786 new Covid cases, active cases decline to 1,75,745

India saw a single-day rise of 15,786 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 3,41,43,236, while the active cases have declined to 1,75,745, the lowest in 232 days, according to the Union Health Ministry's data updated on October 22.

The death toll has climbed to 4,53,042 with 231 daily fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 28 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 117 consecutive days now.

The active cases have increased to 1,75,745 comprising 0.51% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.16%, the highest since March 2020, the Health Ministry said. -PTI

New Zealand sets 90% vaccine target to end lockdowns and reopen

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on October 22 that the country will end its strict coronavirus lockdown measures and move to a system to live with the virus only when 90% of the country is fully vaccinated.

All District Health Boards in the country will need to achieve 90% vaccine rates, Ms. Ardern said, which would make the South Pacific nation one of the most vaccinated country in the world. "Ultimately we have balanced the desire to re-open quickly while continuing to keep people safe," Ms. Ardern said at a news conference. -Reuters

U.S. urges all WTO members to support intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

The White House on October 21 called on all World Trade Organization members to support an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.

"We ... need every WTO member to step up as well and support an intellectual property waiver, and every company must act ambitiously and urgently to expand manufacturing now," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. -Reuters

Pfizer, BioNTech say COVID-19 booster shot showed high efficacy in large study

A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE restored efficacy to 95.6% against the virus, including the Delta variant, data released by the companies from a large study showed on October 21.

The companies said in a press release the trial, which has not been peer-reviewed, tested 10,000 participants aged 16 and older, and found that the booster shot had a favourable safety profile. -Reuters