A health worker inoculates a man during a vaccination drive against coronavirus inside a school in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Image Credit: AP

New Delhi: Over 50 per cent of India’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya as he congratulated the people of the country.

Taking to Twitter, the minister said: “We will succeed. Congratulations India. It is a moment of great pride as over 50 per cent of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated. We will win the battle against COVID-19 together.”

India’s cumulative vaccination coverage has exceeded 1.27 billion, the ministry informed.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. Initially, the vaccination was opened for Health Care Workers (HCWs) only.

From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included State and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence & Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.

The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1, all people above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

India’s vaccine basket presently includes Covaxin, Covishield, Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Zydus Cadila.