UK and Russia give go-ahead for mass-vaccinations, India bets on Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as pandemic infections cross 9.5 million

Representational image: UK and Russia give go-ahead for mass-vaccinations.

(, Dec03’20) – Mass vaccinations against the Covid-19 pandemic which broke out from the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has since infected a total of more than 64.56 million people and killed nearly 1.5 million people worldwide, are set to begin in the UK and the Russian Federation next week.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said his country will begin receiving the first shipment of 800,000 doses of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine within days and people will start getting the shots as soon as it arrives. Two doses three weeks apart are required for protection.

The UK plans to offer the vaccine first to those who are most at risk of dying from the disease and those whose jobs put them at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it to others. The vaccination programme will be expanded to others as more supplies become available.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said more than 2 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine will be ready for use within the next few days.

“Let’s agree on this – you will not report to me next week, but you will start mass vaccination … let’s get to work already, Dec 2 quoted Putin as having told told Deputy PM Tatiana Golikova. Golikova has said large-scale vaccination could begin on a voluntary basis in December.

India’s preferred choice is said to be the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, whose Phase 3 of human trials is ongoing, along with some other Indian candidates. The Serum Institute, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s local partner, has said it will apply for emergency use authorisation in next few days.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which is in Phase 3 of human trials, is also likely to get an approval soon, reported the Dec 3.


Meanwhile the latest data from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare show that there were 35,551 new cases and 526 new deaths in the country in the past 24 hours as of Dec 3 at 8AM, taking their cumulative totals to 9,534,964 cases and 138,648 deaths. This was the 10th time this month that the number of new daily cases dropped below 40,000.  And the number fresh cases was nearly 3% lower than that the day before, noted the Dec 3.

A total of 8,973,373, or 94.11%, had recovered while the number of active cases was 422,943, or 4.22% of the total, showing continued declined for the 5th day. The case fatality rate was 1.45%. These were all improvements over the previous day’s figures.

The latest daily number of new cases, at 35,551, was less than the daily number of those who had recovered, at 40,726, leading to a decline in the number of active cases by 5,701.

The number of active cases remained below five lakh for the 23st successive day after remaining below six lakh for 12 days. Besides, this was also the 26nd consecutive day the number of daily cases reported had remained below 50,000.

India is currently the country with the world’s second highest number of Covid-19 cases and the third highest number of deaths. It is also the country still reporting the highest daily number of new cases after the USA.


Eight states, namely Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal had each accumulated more than 490,000 cases each in that order.

They were followed by nine other states with more than 208,000 cases each and which included, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Bihar, Assam, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh  in that order.

Three more states/ Union Territories, namely Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand had reported more than 109,000 cases each so far in that order.

Ten more states/Union Territories, namely Uttarakhand, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Tripura, Manipur, Chandigarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland reported more than 11,000 cases each in that order.

Besides, there were five other states/Union Territories with a total of more than 3,000 cases each, namely Ladakh, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mizoram, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and in that order.

Maharashtra also had the highest cumulative number of deaths at 47,357 (↑111); followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with more than 11,800 deaths each; Delhi with over 9,300 deaths; West Bengal with over 8,500 deaths, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh with over 7,000 death each; Punjab and Gujarat with more than 4,000 deaths each; Madhya Pradesh with more than 3,200 deaths each; Chattisgarh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Kerala with more than 2,200 deaths each; Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Bihar, and Uttarakhand with more than 1,200 deaths each; Assam, Jharkhand, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Tripura, Manipur, Chandigarh, Ladakh, and Meghalaya with between 983 and 114 deaths each, and so on in that order.


The total number of Covid-19 cases among Tibetans in India, Nepal and Bhutan had remained unchanged at 1,315 (↑0), of whom 143 were active, 1,138 had recovered and 34 (↑0) had died, according to the latest tally of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as of Dec 3.


Across the world the number of Covid-19 cases had totaled 64,561,850 and the deaths 1,493,925, according to the tally of Johns Hopkins University as of 1:56 PM on Dec 3, 2020.


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