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Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that the government will start administering COVID-19 vaccine to a third prioritized group comprising people above 50 years of age from next month. Interacting with media persons regarding budgetary provision for Union Health Ministry for 2021-22, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that there are 26 crore people in this category. He said, the Centre had launched the vaccination drive against COVID-19 from 16th of January by administering vaccines to health care workers and the second prioritized group of frontline workers from 2nd of February. 

He informed that those who have taken the first dose of vaccine are being given the second dose from 13th of this month. Dr Harsh Vardhan said that currently around 18 vaccine candidates are in different stages of trials and will be rolled out in future.
 
The Health Minister also ruled out any death related to COVID-19 vaccination in the country. He mentioned that in the budget-2021-22, the government has allocated Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccine.
 
On COVID- 19 situation, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, no new cases have been reported in 188 districts of the country in the last seven days, in 76 districts in the last 28 days. He, however, stressed that it is crucial that people continue to follow COVID appropriate behaviour along with real vaccines. He said, COVID-19 has strengthened India's health potential as the country turned a crisis into opportunity.
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