Updated: October 21, 2021 8:42:19 am
India is expected to touch the 100 crore Covid vaccination milestone — including first and second doses — on Thursday. According to provisional data, about 99.70 crore vaccine doses had been administered across the country as on Wednesday. While 74 per cent of the estimated adult population have received the first dose, 31 per cent are fully vaccinated.
“The country is close to making a vaccine century. To be a part of this golden event, I appeal to citizens who are yet to be vaccinated to get vaccinated immediately. Please contribute to this historic vaccination journey of India,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet.
According to available data, over 65 per cent of the total vaccine doses have been administered in rural areas — an indicator of equity in access to vaccines. In stark contrast, as public health experts have been raising global concerns over vaccine inequity, just over 3 per cent of people in low-income countries are estimated to have received a single dose. The health ministry has urged the states to focus on second dose coverage now.
According to official data, eight states have crossed the 6-crore mark (cumulative vaccinations): Uttar Pradesh (12.08 crore), Maharashtra (9.23 crore), West Bengal (6.82 crore), Gujarat (6.73 crore), Madhya Pradesh (6.67 crore), Bihar (6.30 crore), Karnataka (6.13 crore) and Rajasthan (6.07 crore).
India launched the vaccination drive on January 16, first for frontline and healthcare workers. On March 1, the vaccination drive was opened for vulnerable groups — all above 60 years and those above 45 years with comorbidities. This was then changed to all above 45 years on April 1. And on May 1, India expanded its vaccination coverage to include all above 18 years.
Meanwhile, the Railways has decided to make public announcements on trains and at stations when the 100-crore vaccination milestone is reached. “The 100 crore vaccination landmark is likely to be reached in the morning of 21st October, 2021, between 10 am and 12.30 pm,” says a message circulated in zonal railways.
“It is to be noted that the announcement may be initiated only after reaching the milestone of 100 crore vaccination,” it said.
— With Avishek G Dastidar
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