The United Nations is supporting India’s vaccination drive, which is the largest in the world, and the global body and its partners have reached some 600 million people in the country with COVID prevention and mitigation messages, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, at the daily press briefing on Tuesday said the UN team in India led by Resident Coordinator Shombi Sharp continues to support authorities to curb the spread of the virus.
“To date, we and our partners have reached some 600 million people in India with COVID prevention and mitigation messages. We are supporting India’s vaccination drive, which is the world’s largest,” Dujarric said. “This includes developing robust surveillance and monitoring measures, boosting lab capacity, developing response plans, procuring and distributing personal protective equipment, training health care workers, and disseminating life-saving information,” Dujarric said.
He said the UN team has worked to develop a comprehensive Risk Communication and Community Engagement strategy, training over 1.3 million healthcare workers in risk communications. The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India crossed 163.49 crore on Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry said.
Over 93 lakh precaution doses have been given to healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens aged 60 and above with comorbidities so far. The countrywide vaccination drive, the largest in the world, was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2021. The country launched vaccination for all people aged 45 years and above from April.
From January 3 this year, COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years in India commenced. India began administering precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers, frontline workers including personnel deployed for election duty and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10 amid the country witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases fuelled by Omicron variant.