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Centre’s vax drive to cover entire adult population by year-end

Our Bureaus October 21 | Updated on October 22, 2021

Govt’s statement of intent coincides with 100-cr jabs mark

India surged past the 100 crore Covid-19 vaccinations milestone with the assertion from the Centre that the entire adult population would be vaccinated by the year-end.

More than 76 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Thursday (as at 9 pm), taking the overall tally to over 1,00,60,69,878 doses. India’s achievement received applause from various quarters, including from the World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who congratulated the Prime Minister, scientists, healthworkers and people of India on the “efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from #COVID19 and achieve #VaccinEquity targets.”

In fact, earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, a major vaccination centre, to meet the healthcare staff, even as he thanked the collaborative efforts of the public and private healthcare providers, besides individuals and social organisations.

 

UP tops the table

The vaccine shots were administered at 88,317 sites of which 85,714 were government centres and the remaining were private. Among the States, Uttar Pradesh (at over 10 lakh) administered the maximum jabs, followed by West Bengal (8 lakh-plus) and Maharashtra (over 5 lakh).

RS Sharma, head of the National Health Authority, credited the achievement to the vaccination infrastructure and logistic framework, specifically the CoWIN app, besides the healthcare workers.

Responding to whether India would be able to administer 100 per cent vaccination of the first dose to the elderly by December, Sharma said CoWIN has the capacity to handle large numbers. “I can’t give you the numbers straight away as vaccination depends upon various factors like vaccine availability, availability of vaccinators, willingness of the people to come forward and the system which has been created for this. But I can assure you that the platform will be able to sustain as the vaccination pace will pick up,” he said.

Currently, there are six States and Union Territories including Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu where the entire adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Even in bigger States such as Gujarat, which had started vaccinations of frontline workers from January 31, 2021, two of the largest urban centers including Ahmedabad and Surat cities have completed 100 per cent first dose of vaccination of the eligible population.

Special events

The day’s achievement was marked by various events including SpiceJet Airlines unveiling special livery to honour frontline workers, and the illumination of all important Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) sites, across States.

Published on October 21, 2021

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