“India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and the collective spirit of Indians,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the occasion of administering 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by interacting with healthcare workers at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi on 21 October 2021.

The World Health Organisation congratulated India for achieving the landmark vaccination drive against the pandemic.

“Congratulations, PM Narendra Modi, the scientists, health workers and people of India, on your efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from Covid-19 and achieve vaccine equity targets,” Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, Director General, the World Health Organization said.

“India’s progress must be viewed in the context of the country’s commendable commitment and efforts to ensure that these life-saving vaccines are accessible globally,” regional director WHO South-East Asia rightly commended.

India started a countrywide vaccination drive on 16 January 2021 with healthcare workers getting vaccinated in the first phase. Next phase of vaccination started on 1 March 2021 for senior citizens and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbidities. Later vaccination started for all people aged 45 and above from 1 April 2021.  The next phase of vaccine drive for all above 18 years started on 1 May 2021 and it took 85 days to achieve the one billion historical milestone in the country.

India has administered the second largest doses in the world, next to China which is reported to have given 2.2 billion doses.

“Today, October 21 has been registered in history. The country has the protective shield of 100 crore doses to protect us from a once in a century pandemic,” Prime Minister said.

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