It’s a historic day for India and its healthcare workers. On 21st October 2021, 10.30 AM, with the help of millions of frontline workers, India crossed a landmark of 1 Billion vaccination doses to safeguard its citizens against the Coronavirus. Since the first case of COVID-19 detected in India, more than 4,50,000 people have lost their lives to this dreaded disease. Hence the milestone deserves our attention, appreciation and celebration.

The Govt. of India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out congratulatory messages for the citizens of India marking a major milestone in the inoculation drive. PM Modi also thanked the doctors and nurses who helped achieve this mammoth task.

Picture: Tweet by PM Modi

Having launched the Pan India vaccination drive on 16th January 2021, it has taken India only 9 months to reach the 1 billion mark. Till date, India has administered vaccines to twice the number of people as in the United States of America (USA), five times the number as in Japan and ten times the number as in France. It is also said that India’s COVID vaccination drive is the fastest vaccination drive when compared to similar numbers for Tuberculosis (TB) and Polio.

Other significant milestones include 17th September’s vaccination drive where India inoculated 25 million people in a single day.

Image Source: Financial Times

Looking at the number of people vaccinated in India, India has partially vaccinated about 75% of all its adult population and about 31% have been jabbed twice. Among the states of India, Uttar Pradesh tops the chart for most number of vaccinations, followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat. Karnataka stands at the 7th position with over 6.13 crore doses administered.

This momentous occasion should be dedicated to the brave frontline warriors who were every citizen’s first line of defence in fighting the virus. Being overworked, facing mental fatigue and having lost hundreds of colleagues in their medical fraternity – the doctors, nurses and other frontline workers continue to strive day and night to save more lives.

The occasion should also be dedicated to the efforts of all the people who worked tirelessly to create the vaccine in the first place and also to the two Indian vaccine makers – Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for the indigenous vaccines of COVISHIELD and COVAXIN respectively.

The Govt. of India has set itself a target to administer both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine to all its eligible adult population by 31st December 2021. Even though the target seemed impossible in the early days, the recent landmark brings a lot of optimism regarding achieving this target.  Until every citizen receives the vaccines, let us please not become complacent and continue to practice COVID appropriate behavior. Let us continue to maintain social distancing, wear proper masks and wash hands regularly.

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