Completion of 100 crore doses in less than a year of beginning the vaccination drive is not a small achievement. The Union Government, along with State Governments and Private Medical Sector and allied public and private sectors have really achieved the unachievable. The whole world was facing a very unique situation when Covid-19 pandemic struck. People lost their friends and family members, people lost their livelihood, free movement was restricted and what not. Above all, there was no sign of any fixed cure for the disease.
In January 2021, the Union Health Ministry gave nod for emergency use of the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in India. From the month of February, senior citizens were made eligible for the vaccine, and from May all the citizens above the age of 18 were made eligible. Thus, vaccination to the masses had started just in the month of May. Till 30th April approximately 15 Crores doses were administered, from 1st May to 21st October i.e. in 174 days India administered 85 crore doses. Out of the whole population 53% of the population has been administered with the first dose and approximately 20% of the population is fully vaccinated. The reason to state these numbers is to give everyone a magnitude of work which has been done by the government machinery along with the private sector.
The government has faced very sharp criticism from self-claimed part-time medical experts (like Prashant Bhushan) about the efficacy of the vaccine. There was a tussle between the state governments and the Union government about the distribution of the vaccine, price cap of the vaccine, subsidisation of the vaccine etc. Opposition parties like Indian National Congress and Aam Aadmi Party actively promoted vaccine hesitancy among the masses. However, even on that front opposition miserably failed.
The youth of the country actively got themselves and their elder family members vaccinated, the local politicians in order to bank political goodwill from their potential voters arranged vaccination camps and transport services to and fro the vaccine centres. Netizens posted their post vaccination pictures on social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Getting a vaccine shot was seen as a sign of positivity and achievement. Social media influencers made blogs about how they got vaccinated to promote the vaccination drive. The Prime Minister himself on both his doses posted a pic of him taking the vaccine with a smile, which sent a good message to all the citizens.
This achievement like all the other achievements will be treated as a political advantage by the BJP government. By this rate India will be fully vaccinated by the end of 2022. This will give BJP a shot in arm for upcoming state and the General elections of 2024. For this political message of BJP, its critics will call it vaccine saffronisation (as funny as it sounds). But the political colour on the milestone does not fade the political and administrative will of all the governments and private sector involved in the vaccination process to dedicatedly work for the nation.