On Thursday, the Cowin dashboard showed COVID-19 vaccination has crossed 100 crore doses. It is a landmark record achieved in merely 10 months and in terms of absolute numbers second only to China.
It is a remarkable effort for a couple of reasons. Such as the availability of vaccines, the ability to create a logistical network and delivery system, technological data system to support the drive, and to financially provide for vaccines, the majority of given for free. But beyond all this, the ability to overcome vaccine hesitancy.
With this, only 25% of our adult population has received both shots. Hopefully, this landmark number would further momentum to achieve the target of fully vaccinating the eligible population by the end of this year
There are also some states like Uttarakhand that have achieved 100% first dose coverage of the eligible population. Districts like Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh that has achieved 100% vaccine coverage by fully vaccinating people above 18 years.
What does this progress mean to us as a nation?
We have been able to relax COVID curbs steadily. Higher coverage means people return to work and offices. Colleges are opening up, and schools opening up as we gear up to vaccinate children. Return to normalcy is one of the factors driving the economy. GDP growth projections at 9% for the current year and 8% for the next year are built on the success of vaccination.
Daily case numbers have come down and doctors do not fear a surge of a much-feared third wave. Earlier many media platforms had doubts if India had enough vaccines to cover the eligible population by December. The government has also restarted Vaccine Maitri, the export of vaccines halted during the second wave. It indicates enough Stock availability for domestic use.
How was reaching this mammoth record possible?
Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in an interview, it is our ability to have been self-independent Atmanirbhar. Imagine if our country would have not come up with a vaccine what would have been the situation.
Thanks to Atmanirbharta Modi said pointing to our homegrown vaccine Covaxin and the homegrown vaccine firm that was able to produce Covishield under a licensing agreement.
He said that planning for Vaccination started in May 2020 itself. When no vaccine was even close to approval in the world. It was the planning and allocation of 35 thousand crores in the union budget. And the developing a platform like Cowin that made this landmark vaccination possible.
It’s been a long journey since the vaccination drive started in January 2021. With healthcare workers in the first phase and then frontline workers and steadily opening up for the larger population.
Now that we have achieved this milestone of 100 crore vaccination. The focus is to achieve the fully vaccinated target in time and forward to normalcy.