Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a meeting with top officials to review the progress of country’s vacciation programme against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed presentation by officials on progress of vaccination in the country. He was also briefed about age-wise vaccination coverage and vaccine coverage among healthcare workers, frontline workers and general population in various states, a release from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“Officials apprised the PM about the vaccine supply in the upcoming months and efforts being made to increase production,” it said.
Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were approved for India’s vaccination programme in January this year, while Russia’s Sputnik V got approval in April. The government has also fast-tracked approval process for foreign vaccines approved by US, UK, EU and Japan drug regulators, while many other vaccines are in pipeline and are currently undergoing trials.
“PM was informed that 3.77 crore doses have been administered in the last 6 days which is more than the entire population of countries like Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Canada. It was also discussed that 128 districts in the country have vaccinated more than 50 per cent of the 45+ population and 16 districts have vaccinated more than 90 per cent of the 45+ population,” the release said.
Modi expressed satisfaction at the rising speed of vaccinations in this week and stressed that it is important to carry this momentum forward.
The pace of vaccination has gone up since June 21, the day government’s new vaccination guidelines came into force under which Centre will procure 75 per cent of vaccines from manufacturers in the country and vaccination is free for everyone above 18 years of age.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the need to involve NGOs and other organisations as part of efforts to reach maximum people for vaccination.
He also directed officers to work with states to ensure that the pace of COVID-19 testing does not go down as testing remains a very important weapon to track and contain rising infections in any region, the release said.
On interest shown by other countries in India’s vaccination platform CoWin, Modi said efforts should be made to help all countries who have expressed interest.
As per Health Ministry, India has administered over 31.50 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. Nearly 62 lakh doses were administered as of 8 pm on Saturday, as per the data available on the CoWin platform.