india covid vaccine covaxin
India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 1.56 billion in a span of an year. Image Credit: Bloomberg

New Delhi: As India marks one year of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the vaccination programme added great strength to the fight against the COVID-19.

The comments, however, came at a time when India reported 271,202 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, its highest daily count in eight months, taking its total tally to 37.12 million, the federal health ministry said on Sunday.

Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 314 to 486,066, the ministry said.

But the Prime Minister said that the vaccination drive led to saving lives and protecting livelihood.

“Today we mark one year of Vaccine Drive. I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive. Our vaccination programme has added great strength to the fight against COVID-19. It has led to saving lives and thus protecting livelihoods,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had called the COVID vaccination drive the “most successful” in the world.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Today the world’s largest vaccination campaign completes one year. Started under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, with everyone’s efforts, today, it is the most successful vaccination campaign in the world. I congratulate all the health workers, scientists and countrymen.”

“Due to the unity of people and commitment of PM Modi, India not only manufactured the vaccination against COVID-19 but also vaccinated a large part of the population. The one year of the COVID vaccination drive represents willpower of the country,” Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi.

India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 1.56 billion in a span of an year.

India commenced its nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Starting initially by inoculating vaccines to healthcare workers, it was then expanded to frontline workers, followed by people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities. Later it was also expanded to all above 45 years of age and then those above 18 years of age.

The vaccination drive for those between the age group 15-18 was started on January 3, 2022 and for administering the precautionary doses to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and sixty plus individuals then commenced on January 10 this year.

As per Union Health Ministry, 1,56,76,15,454 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries, as per provisional reports till 7 am on Sunday. In the last 24 hours, more than 6.6 million vaccine doses were administered.