As the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed the 10 crore-mark, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that India is the fastest nation to administer 100 million doses in 85 days.
The US took 89 days to administer 10 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while China took 102 days to do the same, it said.
The Prime Minister’s Office also tweeted a chart showing India as the fastest country to reach this vaccination milestone, calling it “strengthening efforts to ensure a healthy and COVID-19 free India”.
In terms of the number of daily doses administered globally, India continues to remain at the top with an average of 38,93,288 doses administered per day, the ministry said earlier during the day. The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 10,12,84,282 as per the provisional report at 7.30 pm, it said.
The extension of vaccine coverage to those above 45 years of age along with recent provisions for them to get vaccinated at their workplaces — government and private — form a series of pro-active, collaborative and coordinated steps taken by the Centre and state governments for safety of people from the infectious coronavirus disease, the ministry said.
“This along with the efficient clinical management has thus far ensured that India has the lowest fatality rate in the world (1.28 per cent),” it highlighted.
On India being the fastest nation to administer 100 million doses, the ministry said, “The achievement is also a testimony of the ‘whole of society’ approach where individuals turned a deaf ear to rumours and propaganda of vested interests, shunned their vaccine hesitancy and strengthened the hand of the administration in curbing COVID-19.”
The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, it said.
“A broader comparison with other countries on their achievements on the 85th day reaffirms the fact that India has the highest rate of vaccination per day,” the ministry underlined.
The US administered 92.09 million doses in 85 days and China’s vaccination coverage was 61.42 million in 85 days. The UK administered 21.32 million doses in 85 days, it said.
Eight states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala — account for 60.62 per cent of the total doses given so far in the country, according to the ministry.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated and vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.
The 10.12 crore figure achieved across 15,17,260 sessions includes 90,03,060 HCWs who have taken the first dose and 55,06,717 HCWs who have taken the second dose, 99,39,321 FLWs who have received the first dose and 47,28,966 FLWs who have taken the second dose, the ministry said.
Besides them, 3,01,14,957 and 6,37,768 beneficiaries in the over 45 years-59 years category have been administered the first and second dose respectively, while , 3,95,64,741 and 17,88,752 individuals aged above 60 have taken the first and second dose respectively.
“Total 29,65,886 vaccine doses were given till 8 pm on Saturday, the 85th day of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive. Out of these, 26,31,119 beneficiaries were vaccinated for first dose and 3,34,767 beneficiaries received the second dose of the vaccine as per the provisional report,” the ministry said adding final reports would be completed for the day by late night.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)