India sent coronavirus vaccine to Nepal. Photo: AP
New Delhi: As India marks one year of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Sunday, Dr Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR said that the country was able to provide vaccines to over 100 countries in line with our philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.
Speaking to ANI during the launch of commemorative postal stamps on indigenously developed Covaxin to mark one year of the vaccination drive, Dr Bhargava said, "It's the largest vaccination drive in the world. We've administered over 156 crore doses in a year and were able to provide vaccines to over 100 countries in line with our philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'."
"It's a great satisfaction for our country that we did not need to ask any country for the vaccine doses," the ICMR official said
Speaking about the Omicron variant of coronavirus infection, he said, "We are in the midst of the Omicron variant. Although it's slightly milder, it spreads very fast. We are worried about it and have started giving a precautionary dose to people above 60 years of age and people with comorbidities."
Dr Bhargana further said that hopefully, the country will do much better this time with the lesser of hospitalisations and serious diseases with a large population.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya who virtually attended the event informed that around 70 per cent of India's adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 93 per cent received the first jab.
"The drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase," the health minister said.
"Today is an important day for us as we have completed one year of vaccine drive. The world is amazed by our vaccination drive and over 156 crore doses administered," he added.
Mandaviya congratulated India for crossing 157 crore COVID-19 vaccinations in just one year and said that the country has emerged as an example in the world in the fight against coronavirus infection.
"16th January 2021 will always be remembered! Congratulations India on crossing 157 crore #COVID19 vaccinations that too in just 1 year. With PM @NarendraModiJi's mantra of 'Sabka Prayas', has emerged as an example in the world in fight against COVID-19. #1YearOfVaccineDrive," Mandaviya tweeted.
India commenced its nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021.
Starting initially by inoculating vaccines to healthcare workers, it was then expanded to frontline workers, followed by people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities. Later it was also expanded to all above 45 years of age and then those above 18 years of age.
The vaccination drive for those between the age group 15-18 was started on January 3, 2022, and for administering the precautionary doses to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and sixty plus individuals then commenced on January 10 this year.
As per Union Health Ministry, 1,56,76,15,454 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries, as per provisional reports till 7 am on Sunday. In the last 24 hours, more than 66 lakh vaccine doses were administered.