While the challenge to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic remains, India today (October 21) crossed the milestone of administering over 100 crore doses of vaccination to its people. World Health Organisation (WHO) joined global and domestic leaders, including from opposition parties, in lauding this achievement, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme started.
WHO Director General, in a tweet. congratulated the scientists, health workers and people of India on their efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from COVID 19. “Congratulations, PM Narendra Modi, the scientists, healthworkers & people of India, on your efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from COVID19 and achieve vaccine equity targets,” tweeted Tedros A Ghebreyesus.
Launched on January 16, 2021, India’s vaccination drive against COVID-19, crossed the 100 crore-dose mark and was met with scenes of jubilation. Healthcare workers were the first to receive the shots in the first phase. Frontline workers were included in the drive from February 2, 2021. State and Central police personnel, Armed Forces, Home Guards and Civil Defence personnel were also included at this stage. From March 1, 2021, vaccination was extended to people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified co-morbidities. And it was opened to all above 18 years of age from May 1.
“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,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in his tweet, “Congratulation India! Under the visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has been achieved”.
Congratulatory messages started pouring in from Opposition leaders too. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said this was a matter of pride for all Indian and called for giving the Government credit.
“This is a matter of pride for all Indians. Let’s give the Government credit. After severe mismanagement of the second #Covid wave & botching the vaccination orders that might have prevented it, Govt has now partly redeemed itself. It remains accountable for its earlier failures,” tweeted Tharoor.
As India achieved this historical landmark, the government held several events to mark the occasion. As per news reports, the Health Minister released a song and an audio visual film at the historic Red Fort to celebrate the milestone achievement. In another event, Modi visited the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi and met doctors, paramedical staff as well as those who had received the jabs earlier in the day.