India on Thursday achieved a stupendous milestone of administering 100 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, a landmark moment for a country of 135 crore citizens who have been racing against time to defeat the microscopic foe that has tossed their lives upside down.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “India scripted history” and expressed his gratitude to the country’s doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.
“India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat. #VaccineCentury,” PM Modi said on social media platform Twitter.
At 9:47 am today, the CoWIN portal hit the 100 crore vaccine doses-mark, nine months after India’s mega inoculation drive on January 16.
The vaccination drive was initially opened up for health care workers (HCWs) on January 16. However, starting February 2, frontline workers too were eligible for inoculation, which included state and central police personnel, armed force personnel, home guards, civil defence and disaster management volunteers, municipal workers, prison staff, PRI staff and revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force, election Staff, etc.
When the vaccination drive began, India had only two jabs – indigenously-made Covaxin and Covishield. However, as of today, the central government has granted Emergency Use Authorization to six Covid-19 vaccines.
Starting March 1, the programme was extended to people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years, with specific 20 comorbidities.
Later, it was expanded to everyone above 45 years of age starting April 1. It was at this time that India was hit by the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as newer strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus ravaged the country, crippling the health system and overwhelming crematoriums and graveyards.
Since May 1, all persons above 18 years of age were eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.