Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India today achieved the historic milestone of completing 1 billion (100 crore) doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, nine months after it launched “the world’s biggest vaccination drive”. Hailing the feat, PM Narendra Modi said the country had “scripted 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,” he tweeted. The total vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 99.7 crore on Wednesday, according to the 10.50 pm data from the CoWIN portal, with around 75 per cent of all adults having administered the first dose and around 31 per cent having received both doses. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya appealed to all those who are eligible to get inoculated without delay and contribute to the “historic” journey. He will launch a song by singer Kailash Kher and an audio-visual film at the Red Fort for the occasion. The day is also expected to see the raising of the largest national flag, weighing around 1,400 kg, at the Red Fort, news agency PTI reported.
The government had also planned to make announcements over loudspeakers on trains, planes, and ships. It has also said that villages that have completed 100 per cent vaccination should mark the 100 crore doses administered achievement by putting up posters and banners complimenting health workers for their role in the exercise. Last month the Centre – to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday – administered over 2.5 crore doses in a day; that was the fourth time over one crore doses were given in a day. Following that, however, concerns were raised over the actual number of shots given, after some shocking discrepancies emerged from Madhya Pradesh, including jabs being given to dead people.
However, the disparity between the partially and fully vaccinated is among the highest in the world, and of concern to a country that has already reported over 450,000, or 4.52 lakh, deaths. The government is aware of this problem and has called on states and union territories to focus on administering the second doses, and advised them to share strategies to close the gap.