Published: 21st October 2021
World didn't think India could achieve 100 crore vaccination mark, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria
The top five states that have administered the highest number of doses are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh
As India achieved the landmark of administering over 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine jabs on October 21, the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, Dr Randeep Guleria, said that achievement is something the world did not think India could achieve.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Guleria said, "This is a great achievement and every Indian should be proud of it. A lot of people were sceptical when we started the vaccination drive in January but in 9 months' time we have achieved this target of 1 billion doses." The top five states that have administered the highest number of doses are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Dr Guleria highlighted how multiple factors contributed to such a large number. He said, "This was possible because of the leadership of the Prime Minister who monitored this very closely, the industry which made the vaccine also made sure that enough doses were available and because of the healthcare workers who delivered one billion doses to our population, both in urban and rural areas and even in remote parts."
The Director said that the target now is to ensure that every adult in the country is vaccinated with at least a single dose of the COVID vaccine. He added, "Now, we are moving in that direction. This (vaccines) helps us in fighting against the pandemic, preventing severe disease and death."
But what about vaccinating the children? Dr Guleria said, "Vaccination for children has been approved for both the Zydus and Bharat Biotech vaccines. We should first prioritise children who have high risk of getting COVID infection and dying because of it. To break the chain of transmission, it's important to vaccinate children. Most children may only have mild symptoms of the disease but they can carry it to their homes and the elderly at home can get severally ill."
Speaking on the third wave of COVID, he said, "We will not see a huge increase in hospitalisation and death. However, we may see an increase in the number of cases but majority will be mild illness and may not have that much of hospitalisation."