India scripts history, administers one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses
At 10.35 am on Thursday, India achieved the milestone of administering one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses as part of the national immunisation drive started in January with Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking doctors, nurses, and others who worked for making it possible.
In a tweet, Modi said, “India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and 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. #VaccineCentury.”
All major monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India were being illuminated as part of the celebrations planned to mark the achievement. Ships anchored on Indian ports hooted at a pre-decided time while artists were working on 100 different ideas across 100 districts to celebrate the milestone. At the main celebration event at Delhi’s Red Fort, the longest national flag will be unfurled while an anthem and a short film on key vaccination components will be released to mark the occasion.
Among the monuments to be illuminated include Cellular Jail, (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), excavated remains of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (Bihar), Sher Shah Suri’s Tomb (Bihar), Raipur Circle (Chhattisgarh), Chandigarh Capitol Complex, Astodia Gate (Gujarat), Sun Temple (Gujarat), Kangra Fort (Himachal Pradesh), Tipu Sultan’s Palace (Karnataka), Bekal Fort (Kerala), Gwalior Fort (Madhya Pradesh), Aga Khan Palace (Maharashtra), Temple of Vishnu (Manipur), Dimapur Fort (Nagaland), Qutub Minar (Delhi), Konark Sun Temple (Odisha), Kumbhalgarh Fort (Rajasthan), Vellore Fort (Tamil Nadu), Golconda Fort (Telangana), Ancient Fort (Jammu & Kashmir), Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), and Metcalfe Hall (West Bengal).
Free rides at all major ropeways across the country will also be offered to people who have been fully vaccinated.
The Union health ministry created hashtag #VaccineCentury and a digital clock ticking backward to determine the number of vaccination doses left to be administered to reach the one-billion target.
The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulated India for achieving the target.
“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’s progress must be viewed in the context of the country’s commendable commitment and efforts to ensure that these life-saving vaccines are accessible globally,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO, South-East Asia.