India on Wednesday crossed the 60 crore-vaccination mark against Covid-19 pandemic. Taking to Twitter, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the country was pacing ahead in the fight against Covid with the mantra of "Sabka Swasthya, Sabki Suraksha".
"Earlier India administered: 10 crore doses in 85 days, 20 crore doses in 45 days, 30 crore doses in 29 days, 40 crore in 24 days, 50 crore in 20 days. And now, it just took 19 days to complete the 60 crore vaccination mark," Mandaviya said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting with all states and union territories in the presence of Union Pharma Secretary S Aparna. The progress of COVID-19 vaccination was reviewed and states were advised to focus on enhancing second dose coverage as well as immunization of school teachers and staff (both government and private). States were apprised on prompt utilization of Emergency COVID Response Package (ECRP) funds. States were also advised to ensure compliance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour and other precautionary measures ahead of the upcoming festival season.
More than 2 crore additional vaccine doses will be dispatched to the states from August 27 to August 31 to vaccinate school teachers and non-teaching staff on a priority basis. States/UTs may use UDISE (Unified District Information System of Education) data and co-ordinate with State Education Departments, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Sangathanetc. providing necessary fillip to this vaccination programme.
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.