India @ 100 cr vaccines: Journey so far, road ahead

Chennai: India is racing towards its 100 crores Covid-19 vaccination mark and even with the current figures, no country other than China has achieved this landmark. Also since no other country has a population as India and China, the billion-doses club will consist of only these two Asian nations.

Still, for a country that faced huge supply bottlenecks, and a fair amount of vaccine hesitancy, at least in the initial period, reaching the 100-crore milestone is a no small achievement. Transportation, distribution and storage of vaccines at specific low temperatures posed huge additional hurdles in a country lacking in an elaborate cold-chain network.

India began giving jabs on 16 January, 2021, first to frontline workers and those above the age of 60. By May, the drive was thrown open to everyone above the age of 18. India has so far administered over 98 crore of Covid-19 vaccine doses. The country is aiming to vaccinate all its eligible population by the year-end.

‘We are at 99 crores. Go for it India, continue to rapidly march towards our milestone of 100 crore #COVID19 vaccinations,’ Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet.

Recently, in order to dispel myths and shed vaccine hesitancy, Covid-anthem penned by singer Kailash Kher was launched.

In the new phase of the universalisation of the Covid-19 vaccination drive that commenced on 21 June, 2021, the Central government will procure and supply (free of cost) 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to States and union territories.

India is reaching the 100 crore milestone in a record 275 days time. On average 27 lakh doses were delivered in 10 months. There were variants in the pace of the vaccination like on six days more than 1 crore jabs were administered while in the first couple of months only 50, 000 doses were given to the priority group.

In states like Sikkim, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Chandigarh, Lakshadeep, 100 per cent of the adult population has got at least one dose and also has the highest proportion of fully vaccinated people

Even with India picking up pace in vaccination in the last three months, the road ahead is to fully vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of this year, and to achieve this is an uphill task, At least 90 crore doses needs to be administered between now and 31 December, almost as much as was administered in last eight months which means the same amount in one-fourth of time.

 

NT Bureau