National COVID-19 vaccination programme meets its goals by overcoming R&D and logistical challenges, reveals Economic Survey
New Delhi: Elaborating on success story of India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, the Economic Survey 2022-23, tabled by Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, says that as on 6 January 2023, India has been able to administer more than 220 crore Covid vaccine doses across the country.
97 per cent of eligible beneficiaries have already received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and around 90 per cent of eligible beneficiaries have received both the doses.
Vaccination for the age group 12-14 years was started on 16 March 2022, followed by the precautionary dose for the age group 18-59 years starting from 10 April 2022.
Also, 22.4 crore precautionary doses have been administered, added the Survey further.
India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, which is the world’s largest vaccination programme, began on 16 January 2021, initially with the aim of covering the adult population of the country in the shortest possible time.
The programme was expanded to include all persons aged 12 years and above and for the precautionary dose for all persons aged 18 years and above.
The introduction of Covid-19 vaccines entailed many challenges such as research and development for new Covid vaccines, training of more than 2.6 lakh vaccinators and 4.8 lakh other vaccination team members, optimum utilisation of available vaccine, difficult-to reach population, and the need to ensure all essential health services along with scaling up of vaccination programme.
In addition, logistical challenges such as storage and decentralised distribution of vaccines across 29,000 cold chain points, augmenting cold chain capacity, and developing IT platform for registering the beneficiaries and vaccine service delivery, were also noticed.
The programme was able to overcome these challenges and meet its goals within a short time frame.