In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday.
A total of 1 Billion (100 crores) vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWin portal of India on Thursday morning.
The feat was achieved in over 10 months of the starting of India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16. Today, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “India scripted history” and expressed his gratitude to doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.
“India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat. #VaccineCentury,”PM Modi tweeted.
However, the journey of the COVID-19 vaccine in India started soon after the first case of viral infection was reported in December 2019 in China’s Wuhan.
By March 2020, the world witnessed the collapse of numerous industries, closure of international and local borders, and disrupted global supply chain, after some of the biggest economies in the world were forced to go into lockdown.
Researchers worldwide raced against time to develop a vaccine against the deadly virus that was claiming the lives of millions across the globe.
As per a report of the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, as of December 2020, there were more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the development stage across the world, of which, at least 52 candidates were undergoing human trials.
To inoculate the country’s huge population of some 900 million people, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave the green light to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine–Covishield (manufactured under licence by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (India’s indigenous vaccine developed locally by Bharat Biotech), on January 3, 2021.
In phase 1 of the vaccination drive which was launched on January 16, all health care and frontline workers were eligible to take jabs.
On March 1, the next phase of the inoculation programme started, making the population over 60 years, and those above 45-years of age with co-morbidities eligible for vaccination. The programme was extended to all above 45 years of age on April 1.
On April 13, the DCGI also approved the use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine (manufactured under license by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories).
The national immunisation programme against the COVID-19 vaccine was expanded for the entire adult population, that is everyone above the age of 18 on May 1.
With this, India became one of the first countries in the world to allow all adults to seek a vaccine.
Since then, India has also granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to three other vaccines by Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Zydus Cadila.
On October 12, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the drug regulator also recommended granting an emergency use authorization to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children aged between 2-18 years as well.
The latest addition in India’s vaccines basket is Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D. The Ahmedabad-based pharma company announced has received EUA from DCGI for the country’s second indigenous vaccine, and the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine–ZyCoV-D on August 20.
Indian Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya congratulated the citizens of India on crossing 100 crore COVID-19 vaccination coverage and attributed the achievement to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Congratulations India! This is the result of the able leadership of visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi. #VaccineCentury,”Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi
PM Modi said, “Today, this day of October 21, 2021, has been recorded in history. The nation now has strong armour of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses to combat this biggest pandemic in 100 years. India has crossed the 100 crore vaccine dose mark sometime back.”
The Prime Minister further said that this achievement belongs to every citizen of India.
“I express my gratitude to all the vaccine manufacturing companies of the country, workers engaged in vaccine transportation, health sector professionals engaged in vaccine development,”Prime Minister Modi added.
World lauds India’s landmark achievement of 100 cr COVID-19 vaccinations