India is looking at an increased monthly production of Covid-19 jabs, a larger basket of vaccine options and a larger proportion of its population fully vaccinated by the end of 2021.
This would translate to a larger potential to share vaccines with the world, contributing toward realisation of the Prime Minister’s vision of 'One Earth, One Health', the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said in a press release.
India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive has achieved a historic milestone of administering 1 billion vaccine doses. Around 75% of the eligible population (18+) has been given the first dose, while around 30% has been given both the doses.
India has achieved this mark of 1 billion vaccine doses in less than 40 weeks, said the High Commission.
This milestone exemplifies India’s prowess in various elements in the vaccination journey -- development of new vaccines, production of vaccines, deployment, and technology, it said.
India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive was launched on 16 January, 2021.
But preparations had begun way back in April 2020 with the establishment of the National Task Force for Focused Research on Corona Vaccine, the release said.
Today, India is the only country that has developed multiple vaccines across multiple platforms (Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin uses an inactivated virus platform, Zycov-D is a DNA vaccine, Covishield a viral vector vaccine, Gennova is in the running for being India’s first mRNA vaccine), according to the High Commission.
On the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), three vaccines have been utilised in the programme -- Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India in collaboration with AstraZeneca of the United Kingdom, Covaxin of Bharat Biotech International Limited and Sputnik V of Russia.
Nearly all of the 1 billion doses administered have been 'Made-in-India', except for a miniscule proportion of Sputnik V (approximately 0.4 million doses).
Moreover, the High Commission said, more than 95% of those vaccine doses have been delivered by India’s public health system, a testimony to its reach and robustness.
Nevertheless, it said, private healthcare outlets have also been included in the implementation of the vaccination drive.