The number of Covid-19 vaccine shots administered in India crossed the historic landmark of 100 crore doses today, nine months after the drive was first launched.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the achievement as a triumph of Indian science, enterprise and the collective spirit of 130 crore Indians.
“India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and the collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat,” PM Modi tweeted.
He said that the country now has a strong “protective shield” of 100 crore vaccine doses to combat the biggest pandemic in 100 years.
Data from the CoWIN portal shows that around 75 per cent of India’s entire adult population of 94.4 crore has now been administered the first dose and around 31 per cent having received both doses of the Covid vaccine.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya appealed to all those who are eligible to get inoculated without delay and contribute to the "historic" journey. He will launch a song by singer Kailash Kher and an audio-visual film at the Red Fort for the occasion.
The day is also expected to see the raising of the largest national flag, weighing around 1,400 kg, at the Red Fort.
The government had also planned to make announcements over loudspeakers on trains, planes, and ships. It has also said that villages that have completed 100 per cent vaccination should mark the 100 crore-doses administered achievement by putting up posters and banners complimenting health workers for their contribution to the success.
RS Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority said on NDTV: "We are doing 700 vaccinations per second.”
The administering of one billion vaccine doses – given the unknown and unpredictable nature of the coronavirus, the scale and intensity of the pandemic, and the challenges surrounding manufacturing, distribution, and delivery – represents a significant effort on the part of the government.
The only one other country that has administered over a billion vaccine doses is China which crossed the mark in June.
The highest single-day record of doses being administered was achieved last month on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 71st birthday when over 2.5 crore doses were administered. This was the fourth time that over one crore doses were given in a day.
India’s vaccine drive which started in January this year had accelerated in June with the Prime Minister announcing the free vaccines for all scheme with the Centre taking over the complete procurement of doses as the states were facing problems.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said it took 85 days to inoculate 10 crore people against Covid-19, but after the “free vaccine for all” campaign was launched it took only 24 days to reach 30 to 40 crore vaccination coverage.
India’s vaccine manufacturing companies also rose to the occasion as they tripled production to ensure that there were adequate doses available to meet the increased demand.