Experts hail landmark achievement of one billion Covid vaccinations in India’s immunization programme in 278 days

India began administration of Covid-19 vaccines on January 16, 2021. As of October 21, 2021, India has administered 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses including first and second doses.

By:Updated: Oct 21, 2021 3:42 PM
Covid-19 vaccines, 1 billion mark, Bharat Biotech, Covaxin, Serum Institute of IndiaWhile Bharat Biotech has contributed more than 11.44 crore vaccine doses of Covaxin in India’s vaccination programme, Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) has contributed more than 88.35 crore vaccine doses of its Covid -19 vaccine Covishield.

Experts have hailed the landmark achievement of one billion Covid vaccinations in India’s immunization programme in 278 days starting January 16, 2021.

India has already provided more than one billion vaccinations covering around 1/7th of the population. About 75% of the population has received at least one dose, and nearly 31 % have received both the doses, as per official data.

India began administration of Covid-19 vaccines on January 16, 2021. As of October 21, 2021, India has administered 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses overall, including first and second doses covering around 1/7th of the population.

Terming it as a unified effort of the Government, vaccine manufacturers and healthcare workers, Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech said, “Reaching the 1 billion mark of COVID-19 vaccinations in just nine-months is a remarkable achievement for India and a true success story of Atmanirbharta or self-reliance.”

While Bharat Biotech has contributed more than 11.44 crore vaccine doses of Covaxin in India’s vaccination programme, Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) has contributed more than 88.35 crore vaccine doses of its Covid -19 vaccine Covishield.

All (99.9%) of these vaccine doses are domestically manufactured within the nation with Covishield (Oxford AstraZeneca) accounting for maximum doses administered (89%) and about 11% doses administered are of Covaxin.

Signifying the importance of vaccination and the road ahead, Dr. Ishwar Gilada, Consultant in HIV and infectious diseases and Secretary General, Organised Medicine Academic Guild (OMAG) said, “All eligible people should be fully vaccinated worldwide within a limited time duration. Though the World Health Organization (WHO) is aiming for all countries to fully vaccinate 70% of their population by June 2022, India plans to do that in the next 70 days and the speed chosen is 2 crore vaccines per day. Seventy days are left for fully vaccinating all eligible people by December 2021. India has to gear up to administer an average 1.4 Crore vaccine doses daily to fully vaccinate all eligible people above 12.”

“As most at-risk people (healthcare and other frontline workers, senior citizens) were first vaccinated in January to February 2021, India should go by science-backed mandate to administer booster doses to those whose vaccine-protection might be declining, in early 2022. While we protect others, it is also important to ensure that those fully vaccinated remain protected as well.

Talking about the achievement and the way forward, Dr. Arunesh Kumar, HOD, Paras Chest Institute & Sr. Pulmonologist, Paras Hospital, Gurugram said “For a country that faced supply bottlenecks, vaccine hesitancy in the initial period, the 1 billion vaccinations milestone is a huge feat in itself. 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 December 31, almost as much as was administered in the last 8 months which means the same amount in one-fourth of time.”

The recovery of 17,561 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients (since the beginning of the pandemic) to 3,34,95,808. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.15%. Recovery Rate is currently at its highest peak since March 2020.

Commending the achievement, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia said, “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.”

As a major milestone in its fight against Covid-19, the completion of 1 billion vaccination in India, Ashok Patel, Founder and CEO, Max Ventilator, said, “It is a matter of pride that the Central government, the health ministry, the state governments, health and other frontline workers has done a commendable job. Besides this, the companies have managed to ramp up production to such high quantities in such limited time even in the face of formidable challenges.”

Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder & Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals said, “India reached the 1 billion mark soon after starting vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. And then increasing the scope of the drive to the age group of above 60s and above 45s with comorbidities on March 1, 2021, then all above 45 on April 1 and then for everybody above 18 years on May 1 has helped reach the 1 billion mark today as of 9:47 am. I’m very hopeful that with this speed that we have picked up we will be able to reach our target of  all eligible Indians before the end of this year. India is number one in vaccination.  We have huge experience in vaccination from polio to smallpox and now Covid. The digital platform of CoWIN is the best in the world and one can get a QR coded vaccination certificate minutes after being vaccinated. One can get appointments digitally. Even the most advanced countries in the Western Hemisphere are giving hand written certificates. This has been a great achievement.”

“As India scripts history with India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive exceeding the 1 billion mark, we are glad to share that we could shoulder a small part of the responsibilities of providing the syringes needed for India’s massive vaccination campaign. We feel honoured to have contributed to India administer 1 billion Covid vaccine doses by October.  We  assure the Government that we will always prioritize domestic needs. Indian Syringe manufacturers extend full cooperation to the Government of India and will do whatever it needs to produce syringes ahead of schedule to ensure success of India’s massive vaccination campaign,” concluded Rajiv Nath, MD of Hindustan Syringe & Medical Device Ltd and President of All India Syringes & Needles Manufacturers Association (AISNMA).

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Latest Healthcare News