Govt makes elaborate plans to celebrate 1 billion jabs
The total vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 970 million on Thursday, with 73% of all adults having received at least the first vaccine dose, and 30% having been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, said Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya
Public announcements at airports, railways stations, shipping ports, bus stations and metro rails will be made at the moment when India administers a billion Covid-19 vaccine doses, said Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday, highlighting elaborate plans by the government to mark the occasion.
“The way the vaccination drive is going, we expect one billion-mark to be achieved either on October 18 or 19. There are a lot of activities planned to commemorate this momentous occasion,” Mandaviya said at a press meet. He kick-started the one billion doses celebrations by launching a coffee table book, documenting the efforts of Covid-19 warriors who contributed in India’s Covid fight.
The total vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 970 million on Thursday, with 73% of all adults having received at least the first vaccine dose, and 30% having been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, said the health minister.
The moment to mark the 1 billion doses is likely to be made more easier to track by a countdown that will likely be incorporated onto the Co-WIN dashboard, people aware of the plans said.
The health ministry is also creating a dedicated hashtag— #VaccineCentury— to promote the occasion on social media. Also, a location is being finalised to install the tallest Indian flag created by the Khadi Board in the national Capital — the shortlist includes the Red Fort and the area between the North and the South Block.
“People are excited about this milestone not just in India but globally also as many countries have shown interest in knowing how India has made it possible to jab so many people. The number of doses that we have already administered is even greater than the population of many countries,” said the minister.
To be sure, India will need to deliver nearly 1.9 billion doses to the over 940 million estimated adult population eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine at the moment.
Mandaviya said that private airline, Spicejet, will wrap its planes with posters of one billion vaccine doses with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and healthcare workers on the day the target of 1 billion doses is achieved.
He also launched videos documenting efforts of Covid-19 warriors. From eight states, 13 Covid warriors, including doctors, ambulance drivers, volunteers and other healthcare workers have been identified as ‘Sentinels of the Soil’ and their experiences published in the book and through the videos.
“As the vaccination drive picked up in India, the challenge was not only demographic but also topographic. The credit goes to the team of healthcare and frontline workers who took it upon themselves to ensure that everyone was covered. It was not an easy task as deep-rooted hesitancy had to be overcome and rampant myths about vaccination had to be countered. People have been working very hard to make this happen, and these people are an integral part of India’s Covid vaccine success story,” said the minister.