Important to continue momentum, says PM as India's vaccination drive crosses 32 crore mark

NEW DELHI: Expressing satisfaction at an increased speed of COVID-19 vaccination this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said it is important to carry this momentum forward and also underlined a need to involve NGOs and other organisations in efforts to expand the drive.

Over 3.77 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered in the last six days, the government said in a statement after a high-level review meeting held by Modi with top officials on the progress of the vaccination drive.

It was noted that 128 districts in the country have vaccinated more than 50 per cent of over 45 years of population and 16 districts have vaccinated more than 90 per cent of this age group.

“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,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Modi also directed officials to work with states to ensure that the pace of testing does not go down as testing remains a very important weapon to track and contain rising infections in any region Modi underlined the need to involve NGOs and other organisations in the vaccination drive, with officials stating that they are in touch with state governments to explore and implement innovative methods to reach people for vaccination, the PMO said.

Modi was also informed about the rising interest in Cowin platform globally, his office noted, adding that he said that efforts should be made to help all countries, who have expressed interest, with India’s rich tech expertise in the form of Cowin platform.

Officials gave a detailed presentation to Modi on the progress of inoculation in the country and was briefed about the age-wise vaccination coverage.

He was also briefed about the vaccine coverage among healthcare workers, frontline workers and the general population in various states, the PMO said.

Meeanwhile, India’s cumulative Covid vaccination coverage has crossed 32 crore doses with over 58.10 lakh jabs being administered on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry said.

About 36,68,189 vaccine doses were administered as first dose and 1,14,506 vaccine doses given as second in the age group 18-44 years Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.

Cumulatively, 8,30,23,693 people across the country have received their first dose and a total 18,48,754 have received their second dose since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive, it said.

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have administered more than 10 lakh beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years for the first dose, the ministry said.

As many as 58,10,378 lakh doses were administered on Saturday, as per the 7 pm provisional report.