Mandaviya said some people tried to sow confusion over the vaccination drive but Prime Minister Narendra Modi was determined and he kept encouraging and motivating the scientists and companies.
Seventy per cent of India's adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 93 per cent received the first jab, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya while launching a postage stamp on indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin to mark one year of the inoculation drive. This is a proud moment for Indians and the entire world is amazed by the country's Covid inoculation drive, he said at the commemorative postage stamp release event.
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Addressing the programme through a video link, Mandaviya said some people tried to sow confusion over the vaccination drive but Prime Minister Narendra Modi was determined and he kept encouraging and motivating the scientists and companies. "India has been able to achieve the milestone of administering over 156 crore doses despite such a huge population and diversity."
"On the occasion of completion of one year of the Covid vaccination drive, a postage stamp has been released on the vaccine indigenously developed jointly by the ICMR and Bharat Biotech, realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji's dream of self-reliant India," Mandaviya said.
He also congratulated all scientists on the occasion. "Our prime minister encouraged scientists to carry out research and develop an indigenous Covid vaccine and held discussions with vaccine manufacturing companies and offered them support.
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"There was no dearth of manpower or brainpower. What was needed was the ability to identify the potential in the country for coming up with vaccines," he said. The government and the private sector worked in tandem on vaccine research and in nine months a Covid vaccine was indigenously developed while the process of granting authorisations to jabs was also simplified, the minister said.
"A certain section of people attempted to sow confusion over the vaccination drive but the prime minister was determined and he kept on encouraging and motivating the scientists and companies. Thus, the vaccine manufacturing and the inoculation drive progressed at a steady pace," the minister stated. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2. The next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. Vaccination of all people aged over 45 from April 1. The government then decided to expand the ambit of the inoculation drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1. COVID-19 vaccination for those in the age group of 15-18 years began on January 3 this year.
India started administering the precaution dose of Covid vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers, which include polling personnel deployed in the five poll-bound states, and comorbid people aged 60 and above from January 10 in a bid to stymie the coronavirus spread driven by its Omicron variant. With the administration of more than 66 lakh vaccine doses in a day, India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 156.76 crore, according to provisional reports till 7 am on Sunday.
More than 43.19 lakh precaution doses of the vaccine have been administered. Also, 3,38,50,912 first doses have been given to beneficiaries in the 15-18 years age group. Covid vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark on October 21 last year. The cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 150-crore mark on January 7.
First Published: Jan 16, 2022 5:43 PM IST