India has administered over 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in 279 days after launching its vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. It is the second country to cross the 100-crore mark. China has given over 2.23 billion (223 crore) doses so far.
The country has fully vaccinated over 29.12 crore people. The proportion of fully vaccinated adults is close to only 21 per cent of the population. China has fully vaccinated 75 per cent of its population
India has given emergency use authorisation to six vaccines for adults, one for children between the ages of 12-18 and plans to approve another one for children between 2-12. years of age. However, only three are being actively given to the citizens and the remaining are not available in the market, yet.
Serum Institute of India's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russia's Gamaleya University adenoviral Sputnik V vaccine are the three that are available for adults, are currently available for Indian citizens. US based Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have received emergency use but have not been launched in the country, yet. The indigenous Zy-CoV-D vaccine manufactured by Zydus Pharmaceuticals has been approved for adults as well as children but the Indian government is still discussing ways to purchase this three-dose vaccine.
Similarly, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has received a nod of approval to vaccinate those in the 2-18 age group from the expert committee at the Centre of Drugs Standard and Control but still has to be approved by the Drugs Controller General.
The Road To 100 Crores
India provided emergency use authorisation to Covishield and Covaxin on January 3, 2021 and launched its vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Initially, the government only planned to vaccinate close to 30 crore people divided into three groups.
The first three categories included three crore healthcare and frontline workers, and the remaining 27 crores were going to be the elderly population. Starting on January 16, the government began vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers where they did not necessarily require to register on the Cowin portal.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare then suggested that vaccines for those over 45 would begin from April 1 and eventually from May 1 started vaccines for all those 18. The vaccination process was not without its own set of hiccups. When the government launched the vaccines for all those above 18, they earlier decided that all the states would place their orders separately alongside the private sector.
Later, the judiciary interfered asking why the Centre was not purchasing for all public sector health centres and from June 21, the Centre changed its policy to purchasing 75 per cent of the doses and left about 25 per cent on the private sector. The ministry also regulated the cost of the vaccines for the private players.
India administered over 10 crore cases on April 10, 2021.The next 10 crore came in another 45 days on May 21. The country crossed 30 crore doses on June 23 while it crossed 40 crore cases on July 17. The country achieved the landmark of administering over 50 crore doses on August 6. In August and September, the vaccination rate picked up pace and India crossed 60 crore doses in 19 days on August 25. India crossed the 70 crore vaccine doses mark on September 7. The next 10 crore came in eleven days on September 18.
India's vaccination has however slowed down since then. India crossed 90 crore doses on October 2 and took another 19 days to administer another 10 crore doses to reach 100 crores.
Totally, 29,18,32,226 people have received both the doses and 70,83,88,485 are partially vaccinated.