INDIA – India has achieved a significant milestone in the battle against Covid-19, administering more than 25 million (2.5 crore) vaccine doses, under the ‘Vaccine Seva’ campaign being run across the country by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
However, India’s battle against the deadly virus is far from over. With the upcoming festival season, health experts fear the third wave could strike within three months.
Some experts believe the third wave will not be as deadly as the second one of there is no new variant of the coronavirus.
The vaccination drive will receive further push after Serum Institute of India, the makers of Covishield, announced that it would scale up production to supply 200 million doses from October.
Availability of more doses would bring India much closer to achieving the target of vaccinating the entire population with at least one dose by the end of December.
Many including NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India has created a world record in administering daily COVID-19 vaccine doses.
According to various reports, the earlier world record for daily doses was created by China with 24.7 million (2.47 crore) vaccines being administered in June.
The daily COVID-19 vaccinations in the country crossed the 10 million mark on 6 September, 31 August and 27 August.
The World Health Organization South-East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO) congratulated India for reaching the milestone of administering two crore vaccine doses in a day.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had on Thursday called for a major push to the COVID-19 vaccination drive on PM Modi’s birthday, saying it would be the perfect gift for him.
India took 85 days to touch the 100 million vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20 million mark and 29 more days to reach the 30 million, according to the health ministry.
The country took 24 days to reach 40 million from 30 million doses and then 20 more days to cross the 50 million vaccination mark on August 6, the ministry said.
It took 19 more days to go past the 60-crore mark and took only 13 days to reach 70 million from 60 million on September 7, it said.
The total number of doses administered crossed the 75 million mark on September 13. Today, the Union Ministry of Health is running the ‘Vaccine Seva’ campaign, official sources said.
As a part of this campaign, Mandaviya visited Safdarjung Hospital to take stock of the ongoing vaccination there.
“When the Union health minister was taking stock of the vaccination campaign in the hospital, at the same time the country crossed the figure of 2 crore vaccinations in a day at 5 pm. Expressing happiness, Mandaviya raised his fist in the air and said that ‘we did it’,” an official source said.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers started from 2 February.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people aged over 60 and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 from 1 April. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone aged above 18 to be vaccinated from 1 May.