Healthcare industry leaders on Thursday hailed the country surpassing the 100-crore COVID-19 vaccination mark and termed it as a historic moment. Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla, whose company is one of the major providers of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, various ministries and healthcare workers for achieving the milestone.
“My heartiest congratulations, Shri @narendramodi Ji, as India crosses 1 billion doses of COVID vaccine inoculations today under your exemplary leadership. I also congratulate all the GOI ministries, agencies, & healthcare workers for their relentless efforts during this pandemic,” he tweeted.
Bharat Biotech Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella, while tagging PM Modi, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and others, tweeted: “Congratulations India. Thanx a Billion! A global feat achieved overcoming Covid Challenges Collaborations Commitment Confidence Courage Compassion in PUBLIC HEALTH CARE.”
Similarly, in a tweet, Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted: “PM Says “Triumph Of Indian Science” As 100 Crore Jabs Administered – Proud mega milestone. Jai hind Folded hands”. In a statement Apollo Hospitals Group Chairman Prathap C Reddy noted that the milestone of 100 crore vaccination doses administered is an indication of the success of the government’s vaccination programme.
“Overcoming the challenges of the vast population spread across the length and breadth of our country is an achievement all Indians can be proud of. With the hope and reassurance of protection from disease provided by the vaccine, we can look forward to a return to normalcy!”, he added.
Apollo Hospitals, as the largest private vaccinator, pledges to support the government in working to achieve the target of vaccinating India’s entire eligible population by December 2021, Reddy said.
“We are also preparing for vaccinating children and adolescents as and when the approvals are in place, ” he added.
Fortis Healthcare Managing Director and CEO Ashutosh Raghuvanshi noted that amidst numerous challenges related to supply, logistics and vaccine hesitancy, and also a severe second wave this year, the landmark achievement is a salute to the efforts of Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who is spearheading the vaccination drive, along with many public and private partners and stakeholders who have worked hard to spread awareness and vaccinate as many people as possible.
“Our goal should now be to continue supporting the vaccination drive and focus on ensuring the second dose for those who took the first. Continuing to vaccinate while following the covid protocols is the only way to beat the virus and prevent community transmission,” he stated.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, with health care workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1, for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specific co-morbid conditions. The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 years from April 1. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing all above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.