India on Saturday turned the third nation on the earth after the United States and China to have administered 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, even because the nation’s inoculation drive races to maintain tempo with an unprecedented nationwide second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Until Saturday night time, 101.three million pictures had been administered throughout the nation to 88.6 million individuals, in keeping with knowledge launched by the Union well being ministry. A complete of 76 million individuals have acquired one shot, whereas 12.6 million have been administered each pictures of the vaccine.

India is the quickest to 100 million vaccinations – it took the nation 85 days to succeed in the milestone (vaccinations began on January 16). The US took 89 days to finish this feat, whereas China did so in 103 days, in keeping with knowledge maintained by Our World in Data.

On Saturday, India added 152,449 new Covid-19 instances to its tally, taking its total caseload to 13.35 million. This was the fifth day in row and the sixth time within the final week that India has damaged all earlier data for brand spanking new Covid-19 infections.

“The achievement [of administering 100 million doses] is … a testimony of the ‘whole of society’ approach where individuals turned a deaf ear to rumours and propaganda of vested interests, shunned their vaccine hesitancy and strengthened the hand of the administration in curbing Covid-19,” the Union well being ministry stated in a press release on Saturday night time.

“The extension of vaccine coverage to those above 45 years along with the recent provisions for them to get vaccinated at their workplaces (government and private) form a series of proactive, collaborative and coordinated steps taken by the Centre and the state governments for safety and prevention of precious lives from the infectious Covid disease,” it added.

Despite this achievement, India’s path to vaccinating a majority of its inhabitants – the second largest on the earth – is arduous and has not been with out problems and hiccups.

State governments and consultants throughout the nation have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open up the inoculation programme for all age teams with a view to enhance the tempo of the drive, whereas a number of administrations have complained about scarcity of vaccines over the previous week, although this appears to be additionally a operate of final mile points inside states. On Saturday, authorities knowledge accessed by HT confirmed that a bit of below 40 million doses of the vaccine are both in inventory with states or within the pipeline.

Vaccination numbers acquire much more significance proper now as a result of India is within the grip of a mammoth surge of infections below a second Covid-19 wave that’s breaking all earlier data.

In a gathering of the PM with all chief ministers earlier this week, some the state leaders raised the difficulty of scarcity of vaccines, however the Union well being ministry identified that vaccines will not be given for an prolonged interval comparable to a month however for a most of 7-Eight days. The states had been additionally informed that there isn’t any scarcity and replenishments will arrive each three or 4 days.

Cases within the second wave have lengthy surpassed the primary wave peak each nationally, in addition to in at the least seven areas – Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – with a number of others comparable to Delhi, Jharkhand and Goa seem set to surpass their earlier peaks as nicely, in keeping with HT’s dashboard.

Experts, nonetheless, stated there was nonetheless an extended approach to go.

Dr Jacob John, former head of the division of virology on the Christian Medical College, Vellore, stated, “We have been able to vaccinate less than 10% of the population in two-and-a-half months; so clearly we are not vaccinating enough. The need of the hour is for the government to assure people that the vaccine is safe because there is a lot of hesitancy.” He added that regardless of how many individuals we immunise in the intervening time, it won’t assist in controlling the surge. “Controlling the spread of the infection was never our goal. Vaccinating those above the age of 60 and those with comorbidity, followed by people who are 45 years or older is aimed at reducing the number of deaths. If we had to control the spread of the infection, we would have to look at the people involved in the chain of transmission and vaccinate them. If we start doing that even today, it will be at least five weeks before there is any impact,” he stated.

Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the division of neighborhood medication at Safdarjung Hospital, stated, “It is good that the vaccination drive is picking up pace, however, now there are places where the vaccines are not available. We don’t know how long the supply shortage will last. If we scale up the number of centres and timings without the doses we will be wasting our manpower that is already strained. We have undertaken a gigantic task, but if the government can’t deliver, it is better to open up to the private sector.”

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