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Timeline of India's COVID-19 vaccination drive as it completes one year today

NEW DELHI: Last year on January 16, India commenced the world's largest vaccination drive to vaccinate its massive population of around 1.38 billion against the COVID-19 infection.

In the year since the country's vaccination drive began, the country has administered 1,56,76,15,454 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The country has also started administering the 'precautionary doses' to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and beneficiaries above the age of 60 years.

India kicked off the world's largest vaccination drive by initially inoculating vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and now it is vaccinating the beneficiaries aged between 15 to 18 against the COVID-19.

A lot has happened since the first vaccine dose was administered on January 16, 2021. The country has battled vaccine hesitancy and vaccine shortage.
The timeline of the "world's largest vaccination drive" -

January 16, 2021: Vaccination drive began for healthcare workers

February 2, 2021: Vaccination drive began for frontline workers

March 1, 2021: Vaccination drive began for beneficiaries aged above 60 years and those with co-morbidities in the 45-60 years age group

April 1, 2021: All beneficiaries aged above 45 years became eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

May 1, 2021: All beneficiaries aged above 18 years became eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

October 21, 2021: India reached the milestone of administering 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses

January 3, 2022: Beneficiaries in the age group of 15-18 years became eligible for COVID vaccination

January 10, 2022: Administration of precautionary dose began for frontline workers and vulnerable people above the age of 60 years

To inoculate the country's huge population, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave the green light to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine--Covishield (manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (India's indigenous vaccine developed locally by Bharat Biotech), on January 3.

India has also granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to three other vaccines by Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Zydus Cadila.

On October 12, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the drug regulator also recommended granting an emergency use authorization to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children aged between 2-18 years as well.

As India faces the third wave of COVID-19, the vaccination drive will continue to play a decisive role in the battle against the pandemic.

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