While India achieved a milestone by administering 100 crore doses with at least 80% of adults having received the 1st dose of Covid-19 vaccine up until 10:30 AM on Thursday, the Government of India claimed that this is the fastest vaccination drive ever.
On this occasion, NTAGI chief NK Arora told Medically Speaking that, “There are two parts of the country, one is for adults, who are given priority because adults are more likely to have this severe disease and die as a result. Our adult population is about 90-94 million, while our child population is around 44-45 million. In several states, we have found that 100% of adults are vaccinated with the first dosage, indicating that they will also come for the second shot. We need to maintain communicating via several channels to ensure that the whole population receives two doses, but we believe that by the end of the year, virtually all adults will have had one or two doses.”
He said, “When the vaccination started on 16th Jan, nobody believed and everybody thought it would take several years for India to get immunized, but there was complete confidence. We had meticulous planning based on availability of vaccine, beneficiary prioritization, and the infrastructure gradual expansion and participation of private sectors, so we knew at what time to expand the vaccination program. If you remember, on 16th Jan there were only 3000 vaccination centres in India, today there are about 64-65 thousand and on 17th Sep there were 1lakh 10 thousand immunization centers. So the whole program has so much calibrated to the ground reality.”
“Infrastructure has been created where vaccine studies can be done. Even community sites have been prepared, and IT has been used extensively. If you see, Cowin is considered one of the world’s best platforms which manages both beneficiaries. It monitors and follows up on recipients of the vaccine, as well as the vaccine distribution. Then two very important steps were taken right in June of last year, namely preparing the road map for rollout and surveillance of vaccine safety,” he mentioned.
Speaking on vaccine hesitancy, NK Arora said, “The journey has not at all been smooth. There were issues with distribution, state and centre people were trying to get vaccine from outside, not even a single dose was available. If we don’t follow the philosophy of vaccine Atmnirbharta, we will be begging and not getting any vaccine. That is why we have not imported even a single dose till today.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ajay Swaroop, Hony. Secy. Cum Treasurer (Board of Management) & Member Trustee, Sir Ganga Ram Trust Society, said, “It is a matter of proud that our country has entered 100 crore vaccine club to fight Covid. We have created history and I am proud of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital being a part of it. As far as our hospital is concerned Sir Ganga Ram Hospital since January 2021 has vaccinated 55,000 people out of which 4877 health care workers, have taken First Dose and 3130 have take Second Dose. We have used 1432 Covaxin Vials and 3968 Covishield with no adverse events.”