India Reaches 1 Billion Mark in COVID-19 Vaccination
India’s vaccination drive reached a historic milestone of having administered 1 billion vaccine doses on 21 October 2021. Around 75 percent of Indians above 18 years of age have received their first dose, while 30 percent have received two doses each.
India achieved the milestone of 1 billion total vaccinations in less than 40 weeks since the COVID-19 vaccination was launched on 16 January 2021. Preparations for the fight against coronavirus started much earlier in early 2020 with the establishment of the National Task Force for Focussed Research on Corona Vaccine in April 2021.
Reaching the 1 billion mark in COVID vaccination underlines India’s prowess in development of new vaccines, production of vaccines and managing large-scale vaccination drive using effective mass communication strategies and digital technology.
Today India is among the few countries that have developed vaccines across multiple platforms. The vaccines developed and produced in India include ‘Covaxin’ - an inactivated virus platform vaccine; ‘Covishield’ - a viral vector vaccine developed with Oxford and Astra-Zeneca; and a one-of-its-kind DNA vaccine, ‘Zycov-d’ developed by Zydus Cadila.
Nearly all of the 1 billion doses of vaccines administered in India have been made in India, except for a minuscule proportion of Sputnik vaccine. More than 95 per cent of the vaccines were delivered by the public health system through the private healthcare entities also pitched in the vaccination drive.
To organize the gargantuan task of vaccinating one of the largest population in the world spread over a large area, India has developed a unique digital platform, called CoWIN that made it possible to register the beneficiaries, schedule their vaccination, generate QR Code based vaccine certificate and capture their vaccination history.
There are 313 thousand COVID Vaccination Centres across the country of which 74 per cent are at rural locations and account for 65 per cent of the total coverage so far. Vaccination teams of 740 thousand persons, including more than 264 thousand vaccinators were trained for the task.
The 1 billion vaccination is also a testimony to the indomitable spirit of India’s frontline health workers – the nurses, the Auxiliary Nurse Midwives and thousands of vaccinators, who overcame challenges of terrain and weather to reach the remotest areas.
The Indian vaccine producers are working to further increase their production of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. Besides covering its own population, the enhanced vaccine production would enable India to share vaccines with other countries in keeping with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of “One Earth, One Health”.
/Embassy of India Sofia Press Release
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