India's Covid-19 vaccination coverage tops 500 million; PM Modi, Union health minister comment
As of 7pm on August 6, the 203rd day of the nationwide vaccination drive, 500,348,866 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, the Union health ministry noted in a statement.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) announced on Friday India has crossed the milestone of administering more than 500 million (50 crore) doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on what was the 203rd day of the nationwide inoculation drive against Covid-19, which began on January 16.
“India’s cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage is at 500,348,866 as per the 7pm provisional report today. The new phase of universalisation of Covid-19 vaccine commenced from 21st June. 4,329,763 vaccine doses have been administered today, as per the 7pm provisional report,” the ministry said in a statement. Giving further break-up, the statement noted that more than 172 million beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group have received their first dose, adding that five states have administered more than 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the said age group: Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The number of new beneficiaries who received their first and second dose on August 6, till 7pm, stood at 3,210,613 and 1,119,060 respectively, the statement noted further.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya took to Twitter to complement citizens on achievement of this significant milestone. “India’s fight against Covid-19 receives a strong impetus. Vaccination numbers cross the 500,000,000-mark. We hope to build on these numbers and ensure our citizens are vaccinated under the ‘Sabko Vaccine Muft Vaccine’ initiative,” PM Modi tweeted. “India soars high on Covid-19 vaccination. Historic record of 500,000,000 doses administered to date,” Mandaviya posted on Twitter.
The Union health minister also listed the number of days taken to reach each stage of this milestone: 0 to 100 million doses in 85 days, 100 to 200 million in 45 days, 200 to 300 million in 29 days, 300 to 400 million in 24 days, and the previous 100 million in just 20 days.
Healthcare workers were the first to be vaccinated, followed by frontline workers, who became eligible from February 2. From March 1, vaccination opened for people aged above 60 and those above 45 with co-morbidities, while everyone above the age of 45 became eligible for a shot from April 1. From May 1, every citizen aged 18 or above was permitted to get vaccinated against the viral disease. Vaccination drive for children, meanwhile, is likely to begin this month.
Thus far, four vaccines have received clearance from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), of which two -- Covishield and Covaxin -- have been in use since the beginning of the drive. The other two vaccines to be granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) are Sputnik V and Moderna’s anti-Covid jab. Among these, Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited, is India’s first and thus far only indigenous vaccine against the coronavirus disease. In recent days, other firms, too, have filed EUA applications with the DCGI for their respective vaccine candidates.