In a historic achievement, India’s cumulative COVID19 vaccination drive has surpassed the 200-Crore milestone today. As per provisional reports till 1 pm today, a total of 2,00,00,15,631 doses have been administered across the country. This has been achieved through 2,63,26,111 sessions.
Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya also congratulated the country on achieving this landmark in only 18 months. He stated that “this extraordinary achievement will be etched in history”.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar also thanked the healthcare workers for their hard work, vision and innovation in setting a new record in the service of humanity.
India’s nation-wide COVID19 vaccination program was launched by Hon’ble PM on 16th January, 2021. Under his proactive and visionary leadership, India supported the research, development and manufacturing of COVID19 vaccines under the “Make-in-India” and “Make-for-World” Strategy, embarked on the use of cutting-edge technologies like CoWIN for evaluating geographical coverage, tracking AEFI for vaccines, promoting inclusivity and for providing a single reference point for citizens to follow their vaccination schedule, and prioritized vaccine administration based on scientific evidence and global best practices.
Several systematic interventions were also carried out in ensuring capacity building for carrying out this nationwide exercise. Existing supply chain for storage and transport of COVID19 vaccines was leveraged and strengthened and effective monitoring of vaccine distribution and assured availability and efficient utilization of vaccines and syringes was ensured at all times.
India’s free and voluntary nationwide COVID19 vaccination exercise is also being carried out in a citizen friendly approach through initiatives like Har Ghar Dastak, Workplace CVC, School based vaccination, vaccination of persons with no identity documents, Near-to-Home CVC and Mobile Vaccination Teams. With 71% of CVCs located in rural areas and over 51% of vaccine doses administered to women, India’s National COVID19 Vaccination Programme also ensured geographical and gender equity.
Despite the decline in COVID cases across the country, consistent efforts were ongoing to vaccinate all eligible citizens. This is exemplified by the fact that it took almost 9 months to reach the 100 Cr mark and another 9 months to reach the 200 Cr vaccination mark since the start of the vaccination drive on 16 Jan’ 2021, with the highest single day vaccination record of 2.5 Cr doses achieved on 17 Sept 2021.
On 15th July 2022, the Union Government launched a 75 day long ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ to provide free precaution dose to all eligible adult population at Government COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs). This special drive, part of the celebration for Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, is being implemented in a ‘mission mode’ to increase uptake of precaution dose of COVID vaccine.
India also laid out a well-organized communication strategy of providing correct information and customized guidelines on COVID vaccination. It helped address vaccine hesitancy and promoted vaccine eagerness and COVID appropriate behaviour among the masses.
The Union Government is committed to further accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country.