Made-in-India vaccines helped reach 100-cr feat, says Task Force chief

India took 279 days to administer 100 crore vaccine doses, according to data from the health ministry.

PM Narendra Modi on Thursday visited the vaccination centre at RML Hospital in the Capital.

As India on Thursday crossed the milestone of administering 100 crore doses of COVID vaccines, it is significant that the feat was achieved through vaccines manufactured in India. This was pointed out by COVID Task Force chief and Niti Aayog member VK Paul, who also said that the achievement was made in a period of just nine months.

“Today, India has achieved a landmark milestone. One hundred crore doses, 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in our nation,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. “What is even more remarkable is that this has been achieved through the vaccines which have been manufactured in India.”

Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted his congratulations to the nation and credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership for the accomplishment.

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Paul, who has played a key role in the government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic, further emphasised on the need to ensure that those eligible for the vaccine – about 25 per cent of the adult population – must get their first dose. “We must ensure that individuals whose second dose of vaccine is due, may please take the dose. Without the second dose, immunisation is not complete, you are not fully protected,” he said.

PM meets healthcare workers and beneficiaries

PM Modi on Thursday visited the vaccination centre at RML Hospital in the Capital after the inoculation milestone was achieved, and interacted with beneficiaries and frontline workers on various subjects.

“Today, when India has achieved a #VaccineCentury, I went to a vaccination centre at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The vaccine has brought pride and protection in the lives of our citizens,” he tweeted.

At RML, the PM asked a wheelchair-bound beneficiary, who had come to get her vaccine dose, about her hobbies, according to a report in PTI. “The PM asked me what are your hobbies and I told him I like singing, then he asked me to sing two lines of a song which I did,” she said. For the beneficiary’s mother, it was “like a dream that the prime minister of India is meeting us”.

“He asked me how I take care of her and why there was a delay in her vaccination. He also asked my daughter about her routine and we feel proud (to be) in such a country where the prime minister is so humble and connected to the people,” she reportedly said.

Arun Rai, who is differently-abled, said the PM has honoured them by calling them Divyang. “I told the prime minister that by calling us Divyang, you have given us so much respect and we feel so good about it. He said look at the paralympic players and the laurels they are bringing to the country. I told him that I used to be a cricket player as well,” Rai said.

A nurse who talked to the PM reported that he “asked me how my journey had been and I told him that I had administered 15,000 vaccine doses. He asked me of about my experience and how beneficiaries reacted while being administered the vaccine”.

India took 279 days to administer 100 crore vaccine doses, according to data from the health ministry. The vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers inoculated in the first phase, and frontline workers from February 2. From March 1, people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions were given the vaccine. From April 1, India launched vaccination for all people above 45 years of age and expanded the drive by allowing all above 18 years to be vaccinated from May 1.

Also read: India records 13,058 new COVID-19 cases, lowest daily rise in 231 days

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