New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a big achievement for India in its fight against COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the more than 1 crore people have been vaccinated against the deadly pathogen in the country so far.

As per the provisional report of the Union Health Ministry, India has administered 1,01,88,007 vaccine doses till Friday which includes 62,34,635 healthcare workers and 31,46,956 frontline workers.

The Union Health Ministry report further stated that India ranks in third place in the world in vaccination coverage after the United States (55.2 million doses) and the United Kingdom (55.2 million doses).

Notably, the US and the UK have completed over 60 days of vaccination while India has completed a little over 30 days.

Dubbed as the world's largest inoculative drive, India had started COVID-19 vaccination on January 16 after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) allowed Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for emergency use authorisation in the country.

What are the challenges for India ahead?

Though the country has vaccinated over 1 crore people in just a month, experts believe that India will unlikely meet its target of inoculating 250 million people by the end of July.

According to a report by IndiaSpend, the country has only vaccinated only 3.4 per cent of its total target group and will need to innoculate 96.6 per cent in the next five months to meet its target which will be a huge task for the Centre.

Vaccine for new virus strains:

Another challenge for the country would to be new virus strains and see whether the two vaccines -- Covaxin and Covishield -- will work against them.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that interim results of the ongoing clinical trials indicated that the indigenous COVID-19 vaccines would be effective against the mutated virus strains reported from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

It has said that the third clinical trial of Covaxin BB152 had been completed as all the 25,800 volunteers involved in the exercise had been administered both doses.

"India had from the outset resisted the temptation of going for herd immunity unlike many European countries, including the UK and Italy, and its decision had been vindicated from what happened in the western nations that allowed the pandemic to spread," said ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said on Thursday.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma