New Delhi, Feb 5: The Union Health Ministry has announced that healthcare workers would start receiving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines from February 13 onwards.

Niti Aayog's Member (Health) and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) head, Dr VK Paul said during a press briefing that the healthcare workers will receive the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine starting February 13.

The first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive against Covid-19 had begun on January 16. Till now, around 45 lakh healthcare workers have been given the first dose, the government had said earlier in the day. It also claimed that India has become the fastest country in the world to reach the 4 million Covid-19 vaccination mark, achieving this feat in 18 days, even before the US and the UK.

As per the data provided, the US, Israel and the UK followed India in its feat of vaccinating 4 million of their populations. In comparison to India, the US took 20 days, while Israel and the UK administered 4 million doses of Covid vaccines in 39 days each.

"Many other countries have had a head start of almost 65 days while India launched the countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive in the middle of January. It is the country's significant achievement in its fight against the global pandemic," the officials said.

Meanwhile, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that 19 deaths and 8,563 Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) have occurred since the commencement of Covid vaccination.

"There is a very structured and robust system of AEFI monitoring in this country. It has been further strengthened in view of Covid-19 vaccination. We have 8563 AEFI so far when we have done vaccination in lakhs. This is 0.18 per cent of vaccinated people,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

In a span of 24 hours, 3,10,604 people were vaccinated across 8,041 sessions, it said, adding that 84,617 sessions have been conducted so far. – IANS