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India Close to 100 Cr Vaccine Doses, Health Min Hails Drive With 95-Cr Landmark

A woman receives a dose of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD in Mumbai, India, September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

A woman receives a dose of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD in Mumbai, India, September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 95 crore on Sunday.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya hailed India’s vaccine drive after the country crossed the 95 crore-landmark on Sunday.

“World’s largest successful vaccination drive in full swing! India completes administration of 95 crore #COVID19 vaccine doses. Marching rapidly towards administering 100 crore vaccine doses. Get vaccinated quickly and encourage your friends & family to do the same!" he said in a tweet. LIVE UPDATES: India Completes Inoculation of 95 Crore Covid Vaccine Doses

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 95 crore on Sunday.

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The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from the novel coronavirus infection continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the Health ministry has underlined.

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Earlier in the day, Mandaviya also said opening a Jan Aushadhi Kendra (JAK) centre is a business opportunity as well as a means to serve poor people. “Aushadhi Kendra you serve people. Also, we give a commission of 20 per cent. Apart from that we also provide an assistance of Rs 3 lakh," Mandaviya said during his lecture on the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ in Basavanagudi.

The assistance is provided because the profit margin compared to those pharmacies selling branded medicines is very less because the medicines sold at JAK are cheap, the minister explained. “We give you assistance because there should not be a situation of shutting down the unit," the union minister said.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.

The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said that more than 95.96 crore Covid vaccine doses have been provided to states and Union Territories so far.

A total of 8,28,73,425 balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs for inoculation, it said. The Union government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country, the ministry said in a statement. The vaccination drive has been ramped up through availability of more vaccines, advance visibility of vaccine availability to states and UTs for enabling better planning by them, and streamlining the vaccine supply chain. As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Government of India has been supporting the states and UTs by providing them Covid vaccines free of cost.

In the new phase of the universalisation of the vaccination drive, the central government procures and supplies free of cost 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to the states and UTs for inoculation.

With inputs from PTI.

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first published:October 10, 2021, 16:33 IST