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Top Vaccine Makers Hail India Achieving 100 Cr COVID Jabs Milestone; Laud Unified Efforts

As the COVID-19 doses administered in India surpassed the 100-crore milestone on Thursday, India's top vaccine makers lauded this remarkable achievement. 

Adar Poonawalla, COVID-19

Image: PTI/ANI

As the COVID-19 doses administered in India surpassed the 100-crore milestone on Thursday, India's top vaccine makers lauded this remarkable achievement. Lauding the "exemplary leadership" of PM Modi, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla also hailed the efforts of all Ministries and healthcare workers for their relentless work during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech co-founder and Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella thanked several stakeholders such as the Prime Minister's Office, the Health Ministry and the ICMR for Covaxin's contribution to India's vaccination drive. 

In a statement, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Krishna Ella noted, "Reaching the 1 billion mark of COVID-19 vaccinations in just nine months is a remarkable achievement for India. Bharat Biotech is proud to have contributed to this historic landmark. This is a unified effort of the Government, vaccine manufacturers, healthcare workers and all the vaccinated citizens of India, making it a true success story of Atmanirbharta." 

Here are some of the key reactions: 

COVID-19 vaccination in India

India's vaccine drive against COVID-19 commenced on January 16 with healthcare workers getting vaccinated in the first phase. This was opened up to frontline workers on February 2 while those aged above 60 and above 45 with co-morbidities became eligible for vaccination from March 1. While everyone aged above 45 could get vaccinated from April 1, all adults were added to the vaccination coverage category on May 1.

From June 21 onwards, the Centre started procuring 75% of the vaccine stock and distributing it to the states for free. Apart from Covishield and Covaxin, the Drugs Controller General of India has approved Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine, and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D. As per sources, around 75% of India's eligible adult population has been administered at least one dose of the vaccine while nearly 31% have got jabbed twice. Uttar Pradesh leads in the number of doses administered in India followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

In another development, the DCGI approved a study on mixing Covishield and Covaxin at the Christian Medical College, Vellore. This came after the ICMR observed in a preprint study that a combination of these COVID-19 vaccines elicited better safety and immunogenicity results than two doses of the same vaccine. The aim of this study will be to ascertain whether two different vaccine doses can be administered to a person instead of the current practice of administering two shots of the same vaccine. A total of 70,95,52,033 persons have been inoculated whereas 29,36,52,256 of them have received the second dose of the vaccine too.

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