Saturday, September 18, 2021

Tracking India’s record breaking vaccination journey

In a landmark accomplishment, India on Friday, August 27, administered more than one crore (1,03,35,290) vaccine doses, its highest single-day vaccination coverage so far. With yesterday’s remarkable feat India’s total vaccination coverage has surpassed the cumulative figure of 62.29 crores (62,29,89,134), according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate the health care workers and people for making the world’s largest vaccination program a great success.

“Record vaccination numbers today! Crossing 1 crore is a momentous feat. Kudos to those getting vaccinated and those making the vaccination drive a success,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya too congratulated the citizens as India sets the historic record.

Noting India’s historical accomplishment, American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates congratulated India.
“Congratulations India on reaching this tremendous milestone. The collective efforts of the government, R&D community, vaccine manufacturers, and millions of health workers have made this feat possible,” the American business magnate said.

According to the Ministry of Health data, Uttar Pradesh so far has administered the highest COVID-19 vaccination doses among other states with 6,98,52,090 doses, followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat with 5,63,32,375 doses and 4,50,91,411 doses respectively.

On Friday, Uttar Pradesh reported the maximum vaccinations in the country: 30,04,772 lakh vaccine (Including first and second) doses. Whereas Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal reported more than five lakh vaccinations in the last 24 hours.

Tracking India’s COVID-19 vaccination journey:

India kickstarted the largest COVID-19 vaccination program covering the entire length and breadth of the country on January 16th, 2021 by initiating the vaccination of healthcare workers.

Later the government expanded the vaccination program for frontline workers from Feb. 2, 2021. These include State and Central Police personnel, Armed Force personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence, and Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal Workers, Election Staff, PRI Staff, and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance among others.

By March 1, 2021, the government announced the further expansion of the world’s largest vaccination program for persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities by the Ministry of Health. By April 1, the government decided to open up the COVID-19 vaccination drive for all above 45 years of age.

Later, from May 1, 2021, onwards the government allowed the vaccination for all citizens above 18 years of age and can receive vaccines through State/UT designated government/private hospitals. Under the National COVID Vaccination Program, from 16th January to 30th April 2021, 100% of vaccine doses were procured by the Government of India and provided free of cost to State/UT government.

Based on the response and suggestions of the State Governments, the Centre on May 1, 2021, implemented the revised guidelines for the implementation of the national COVID-19 vaccination program.

“Under the revised guidelines effective from May 1, 2021, the Government of India was procuring 50% of the vaccine produced and was continuing to provide them to State free of cost for administering to priority groups. The State Government and private hospitals were now also empowered to directly procure from the remaining 50% vaccine pool,” data from Health Ministry reads.

The Central Government again reviewed and revised the guidelines for the national COVID-19 vaccination program which came into effect on June 21st, 2021. Under the revised guidelines the Government procured 75% of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country. The vaccines procured were provided free of cost to States/UTs as has been the case since the launch of the vaccination program in the country. Under the revised guidelines government announced free vaccines for all above 18 years of age at all government CVCs. However, those who can afford to pay may avail the vaccination services at private CVCs.

Several other initiatives were also introduced by Government from time to time in order to give a boost to the vaccination drive and make it more people-centric:

– Vaccination of people at the workplace
– Vaccination of beneficiaries without prescribed identity cards
– Near to home vaccination centers for elderly and differently-abled
– On May 19, 2021, the Government introduced COVID-19 vaccination for lactating women
And for pregnant women from July 2, 2021
– Recently on Aug 21 India’s drug controller general gave a nod for emergency use of Zydus Cadila’s three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine in adults and children aged 12 years and above.

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