India Administers One Billion Vaccination Doses

India scripted history with its COVID-19 vaccine doses administered crossing the one-billion mark — accomplished in just about nine months after the vaccination programme rollout on January 16.

What is even more outstanding is the targeting of adults. Unlike the established universal immunisation programme, for infants and children, India has never undertaken any massive universal adult vaccination programme.

That this exercise involving thousands of health-care workers and others was carried out even while in the midst of a huge number of daily cases in April-May during the second wave makes it even more remarkable.

It became possible only because vaccine manufacturers, the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, were able to ensure uninterrupted vaccine availability even if supply was limited in the beginning.

If over 75% of the eligible adults have already been vaccinated with one dose, the proportion of adults who are fully vaccinated is only 31%.

Since vaccination with two doses is necessary to increase the protection level, efforts should be directed at increasing the pace of second dose vaccination.

China has already administered over 2.2 billion doses and fully vaccinated over 75% of the eligible population even by mid-September.