India successfully administers 100 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar, on October 21 announced that the government had set an objective of vaccinating the country’s entire adult population by the end of the year.

On October 21, India has achieved the 100 crore vaccination milestone. Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar, on October 21 announced that the government had set an objective of vaccinating the country’s entire adult population by the end of the year.

While virtually addressing the FICCI’s Healthcare Excellence Awards ceremony, Pawar notified that under PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, India is one of the leading countries in the global medical devices market in the world.

Analysing the success amidst difficulties posed by COVID-19, the Union minister said, “More than 99 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, and the government has set a target of vaccinating the country’s entire adult population by end of the year.”

To signify the achievement of registering 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, an enormous khadi tricolour in the country, measuring around 1,400 kg, will be presented at the Red Fort on Thursday, official sources said. The same tricolour with 225 feet by 150 feet was unfolded on October 2 Gandhi Jayanti in Leh.

“Congratulations to the people&healthcare workers of India. It’s remarkable to reach 1 billion dose mark for any nation, an achievement in just over 9 months since the vaccination program started in India,” said Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog.

The 100-crore vaccination breakthrough is seen as a significant accomplishment. The country has experienced supply shortages, with vaccine producers incapable of ramping up production to meet the unexpected increase in demand, distribution troubles with a weak cold-chain network, and vaccine scepticism during the early days.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that the vaccination drive was based on six policies, to accommodate everyone above 18 years and provide free vaccination at government health centres, the government giving fiscal and technological assistance to indigenous vaccines, attempting a layered approach of prioritising particular populations, producing a digital interface to organise work, sharing learnings and resources with the global community, and by advising and cooperating with stakeholders.

The government even prepared drones to reach remote areas, like the Karang Island in Loktak lake. Senior government scientist Dr Samiran Panda told the BBC that even ferries go to remote corners like Manipur and Nagaland.

During the peak of the second wave, the Indian government had met critique for delaying the acquisition of vaccines. This April, the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had even sent a five-point letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the government to fund and help the private sector, to quicken up creation, to broaden the suitable categories and approve vaccines recognised by reliable international agencies such as European Medical Agency or the USFDA to be imported without domestic bridge trials.

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