- Covid vaccination drive in India commenced on January 16 this year
- 75% of eligible population has taken the first dose: Centre
- Government is aiming to fully vaccinate the adult population by year-end
New Delhi: India has hit a major milestone in its fight against coronavirus by administering 100 crore (1 billion) COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). India achieved this landmark on Thursday (October 21) after 279 days of the commencement of the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16 this year. Only one other country has administered over a billion vaccine doses – China (crossed 1 billion doses in June), which is also the only other country to have a population of more than one billion. Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya took to Twitter to congratulate the country on this achievement. He said,
Congratulations India! This is the result of the leadership of our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
बधाई हो भारत!
— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) October 21, 2021
Congratulations India! We are 100 Crores strong against #COVID19 ! #VaccineCentury #COVIDGroundZero #TyoharonKeRangCABKeSang @PMOIndia @mansukhmandviya @ianuragthakur @DrBharatippawar @PIB_India @mygovindia @COVIDNewsByMIB @ICMRDELHI @DDNewslive @airnewsalerts pic.twitter.com/YvmnMGafIO
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) October 21, 2021
While talking to NDTV about the accomplishment, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and MD, Medanta said,
This is a combined accomplishment; Indian biotech pharmacy companies have done a good job.
Dr VK Paul, the NITI Aayog Member for Health also congratulated the people and health care workers of India on this milestone.
It’s remarkable to reach the 1 billion dose mark for any nation, an achievement in just over 9 months since the vaccination program started in India, he said.
Stressing on the need for consistency, Dr Paul pointed out that even though the first dose has been given to over 75 per cent of adults, 25 per cent of adults who are eligible to receive free vaccination are still unvaccinated.
Efforts must go forward to vaccinate those who haven’t taken the first dose, he added.
Complimenting the efforts of the frontline workers and people in increasing vaccination against COVID-19 in the country, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia said,
Huge congratulations to India for marking yet another milestone — a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. This extraordinary feat in a short span was not possible without strong political leadership, inter-sectoral convergence, dedicated efforts of the entire health and frontline workforce, and the people themselves. India’s progress must be viewed in the context of the country’s commendable commitment and efforts to ensure that these life-saving vaccines are accessible globally.
According to government data, around 75 per cent of all adults have received the first dose of the vaccine and only 31 per cent have been administered both doses. This disparity between the partially and fully vaccinated is among the highest in the world, and of concern to a country that has already reported over 450,000, or 4.52 lakh, deaths. In order to close the gap, the government has called on states and union territories to focus on administering the second doses.
Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, said while the country has crossed one billion vaccine doses, there is still a long road ahead in the fight against COVID-19, given the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus and the challenges like vaccines hesitancy and complacency and the challenges surrounding vaccine manufacturing, distribution, and delivery. He urged people to continue following Covid appropriate norms such as wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and keeping hands clean along with getting fully vaccinated in order to stay safe and defeat the pandemic.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.