Covid-19: India hits 100-crore vaccine milestone

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India on Thursday crossed another significant milestone in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic, as it touched 100 crore Covid vaccinations — including both the first and second doses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi to mark the occasion. “We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

Meanwhile, India reported 18,454 new cases in the last 24 hours, ending at 8 am on Thursday. The active caseload stands at at 1,78,831, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest data. The recovery rate is currently at 98.15 per cent, which is the highest it has been since March 2020. With 160 Covid patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll now exceeds 4.52 lakh.

“This is achievement belongs to every Indian. I express my gratitude towards vaccine manufacturers, health workers and all others involved in this vaccination program,” PM Modi said.

A closer look at the vaccine data shows that India’s inoculation drive has been fairly equitable — with over 65 per cent of total vaccine doses being administered in rural areas. Overall, while 74 per cent of the estimated adult population have received the first dose, 31 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“Congratulations to the people and healthcare workers of India. It’s remarkable to reach 1 billion dose mark for any nation, an achievement in just over 9 months since the vaccination program started in India,” Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog said.

Congratulating India for reaching yet another Covid milestone, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia said, “Huge congratulations to India for marking yet another milestone — a billion Covid-19 vaccine doses administered. This extraordinary feat in a short span was not possible without strong political leadership, inter-sectoral convergence, dedicated efforts of the entire health and frontline workforce, and the people themselves.”

India took 85 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach the 30-crore mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The country took 24 days to reach the 40-crore mark from 30-crore doses and then 20 more days to surpass the 50-crore vaccination mark on August 6.It then took 76 days to go past the 100-crore mark.

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.

(With PTI inputs)

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