In a landmark achievement in India’s fight against COVID-19, the country's Covid-19 vaccination coverage on Monday crossed the 75 crore mark, the Union Ministry of Health said.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya took to Twitter to make the announcement.

Mandaviya also linked the milestone to India's Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration of 75 years of Independence.

"With PM Narendra Modi's 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' mantra, the world's biggest vaccination campaign has been relentlessly creating new dimensions. #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav, in the 75th year of independence, the country has crossed 75 crore doses of vaccination," the Health Minister tweeted in Hindi.

The World Health Organisation also congratulated India on achieving the milestone with an "unprecedented pace".

"WHO congratulates India for scaling up COVID-19 vaccination at an unprecedented pace. While it took 85 days to administer the first 100 million doses, India reached 750 million doses from 650 million in just 13 days," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.

At this rate, India will be able to cover nearly 43% of its population by December. 

Union minister Anurag Thakur praised the efforts of the corona warriors, state governments and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in achieving this feat.

"This is a big achievement. I express my gratitude to the public, Corona warriors, state governments and the PM who provided free vaccines to all. India has surpassed many countries in terms of vaccinating its population," Thakur said.

Meanwhile, six states and union territories, including Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Ladakh and Lakshadweep, have administered at least one dose of the vaccine to 100 per cent of its adult population.

India took 85 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach 30 crore, Mandaviya said.

The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore from 30 crore doses and then 20 more days to cross the 50-crore vaccination mark on August 6. It took 19 more days to go past the 60-crore mark and took only 13 days to reach 70 crore from 60 crore on Sep 7.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started on February 2. The next phase of the vaccination drive commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 years from April 1. The government then decided to expand the vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1. The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry said.

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta