Celebrating 2 years of India’s momentous vaccination drive

January 16th, India marked 2 years since the commencing of India’s pan-nation vaccination drive.  Over 220 crore jabs were administered and 29 crore doses were exported; a global record of sorts. All this, in a country which houses one-sixth of world population, with median income of $2500; an extraordinary feat. Like any triple AAA rated bond, India’s national vaccination drive was also based on the AAA of Access, Availability and Affordability of the jabs. 

 

Serum Institute of India managed to procure the contract for mass manufacturing from AstraZeneca and distributed the vaccinations under the name of Covishield. On the other hand, in order to perpetuate PM Modi’s vision of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, Bharat Biotech, supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched the indigenous COVAXIN. India beat global competitors in the race to produce the first nasal vaccine and also oversaw the distribution of COVAXIN on a massive scale. These collective efforts, combined with altruistic collaboration between the Centre and States, provided ease of access to the vaccines.

 

The vaccine slots were booked through the COWIN application, a well-developed technology platform, that was simple, flexible and totally transparent. Given the economic condition of most Indians, the government ensured price-point administration of vaccines, as government centres doses free of charge. It is a stellar achievement when countries with smaller population have struggled with logistics. If COVID is in control today and the economy is back in action, it is thanks to the vaccination program.

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