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National Vaccine Day 2021: A Timeline of India's Massive Vaccination Exercise

An elderly Indian woman receives COVID-19 vaccine at a private hospital in Gauhati, India. (AP Photo)

An elderly Indian woman receives COVID-19 vaccine at a private hospital in Gauhati, India. (AP Photo)

India has emerged as a global leader in supplying vaccinations to several nations in the world.

India will on Tuesday observe the National Vaccination Day across the country in order to spread awareness about the importance of vaccination. As the entire world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed several lives and altered the functioning of the mankind across globe, vaccinations gain even greater significance. India has emerged as a global leader in supplying vaccinations to several nations in the world.

As the pandemic is far from over, here’s a timeline of India’s vaccination exercise so far:

June 30, 2020: The DCGI approved Covaxin for human trials, making it India’s first domestic vaccine candidate.

July 24, 2020: Phase-1 clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ began.

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August 26, 2020: Serum Institute of India (SII) started clinical trials of ‘Covishield’ – the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

December 2, 2020: The UK became the first country to formally approve a COVID-19 vaccine for public use as it granted emergency use authorisation to Pfizer-BioNTech’s candidate. Many countries followed suit.

December 7, 2020: SII and Bharat Biotech applied for emergency use authorisation for their respective vaccines.

December 28, 2020: First dry run held across four states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab – to test preparedness of vaccinators and assess mechanisms.

January 2, 2021: First nationwide dry run held across all states and Union territories.

January 3, 2021: DCGI granted restricted emergency use authorisation for SII’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

January 8, 2021: Second nationwide dry run conducted.

January 12, 2021: First consignment of Covishield left SII’s manufacturing facility in Pune.

January 13, 2021: First consignment of Covaxin was dispatched from Hyderabad.

January 16, 2021: India’s first phase of COVID-19 vaccination begins. A frontline sanitation worker at Delhi AIIMS, Manish Kumar, received the first jab against the deadly respiratory disease. He was inoculated in the presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Over 1.91 lakh beneficiaries were inoculated with COVID-19 jabs at 3,351 session sites across the country

January 20, 2021: India started exporting coronavirus vaccines with the first shipment to the neighbouring Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

January 21, 2021: India handed over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh under grant assistance.

January 22, 2021: Two flights, each carrying two million doses of Covishield vaccine, departed from the Mumbai airport for Brazil and Morocco. While Sri Lanka approved emergency use of Covishield vaccine. By this time, India had started sending COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

January 24, 2021: India took only 6 days to administer one million COVID-19 vaccine doses as the number of beneficiaries who have received the anti-coronavirus shots inched close to 16 lakh.

January 28, 2021: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that India has gifted over 55 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines to its neighbouring countries and several of those in its extended neighbourhood. On January 28, India sent 5,00,000 vaccine doses to Sri Lanka and 1,00,000 doses to Bahrain as part of grants assistance.

February 05, 2021: Atotal of 7,580 adverse events following immunisation, which translates to 0.2 per cent cases, have been reported out of total vaccinations till January 31 under the COVID-19 inoculation drive across the country, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

February 07, 2021: With over 53 lakh people vaccinated, India became the third topmost country in the world in terms of the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. Only the United States and the United Kingdom remain ahead of India.

February 08, 2021: The total number of people who received anti-coronavirus vaccine shots crossed 60 lakh. India reached the mark in 24 days, the fastest in the world.

February 13, 2021: The second dose of vaccination started for those beneficiaries who had completed 28 days since receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. As many as 7,668 healthcare workers received the second dose of vaccine.

February 19, 2021: India took 34 days to achieve the landmark feat of one crore COVID-19 vaccinations, the second fastest in the world. The US took 31 days, while the UK took 56 days to surpass the one-crore vaccination mark.

March 01, 2021: Second phase of inoculation drive, which included everyone over 60 and those aged between 45-59 who have co-morbidities, began. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Registration on the Co-WIN2.0 portal opened.

March 15, 2021: India crosses the milestone of 3.15 crore COVID-19 vaccinations.