100 Crore Doses! A Historic Milestone for India
Our country, India, achieved an unparalleled historic milestone by October 21, 2021 of vaccination with 100 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines formulated or made indigenously to control and prevent the pandemic. In a tweet, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi congratulated the countrymen and expressed gratitude to the country’s scientific community and health professionals for working towards achieving this stupendous feat. Prime Minister stated that vaccination drive wouldn’t have been successful without the efforts of dynamic Indian vaccine manufacturers who he had the opportunity to meet on October 23, 2021 in Delhi.
The Expanded Programme of Immunization initiated in India in 1978 with the objective to reduce morbidity and mortality from diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, poliomyelitis and childhood tuberculosis by providing immunization services to all eligible children and pregnant women by 1990. Universal Immunization Programme of India to immunize infants, children and pregnant women. Immunization services were accelerated and modified in 1985-86 as Universal Immunization Programme to include Measles vaccine and other appropriate vaccines in a phased manner to cover the entire country by 1990 to become the largest health programme in the world.
The historic pandemic milestone was achieved thanks to the political will, proven experience with massive immunization programme, practical fast-tracking of regulatory pathways by the CDSCO for developing Covid-19 candidate vaccines in pandemic situation, involvement of frontline healthcare officials and paramedics, Indian vaccine manufacturers’ determination to make vaccines available through external collaborations and indigenous development and willingness of citizens to relent on vaccine hesitancy.
Vaccine Manufacturers Association (IVMA) justifiably feel proud that all the Members took the giant step to control and prevent Covid-19 pandemic disease and succeeded to a great extent not withstanding the initial obstacles such as absence of coherent public health policy, constraint of funds for expansion of manufacturing facilities and ignorance of the general public on the safety and efficacy of the pandemic vaccine candidates. We request Shri. Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare to guide us.
Having experienced the brunt of disruption due the pandemic in all sectors of national economy and public healthcare, IVMA is gearing up to make suitable vaccines in required quantities in time to stop the spread of another pandemic or epidemic.
IVMA aims to help the industry for faster development, assist the government in streamlining permissions and licences, provide the country with better and affordable new vaccines and guide the public with knowledge on vaccines.
IVMA will strive to make India a dependable vaccine hub for supply of WHO Prequalified vaccines and new vaccines to internal and export markets and to other countries through international agencies such as UNICEF, PAHO, Gavi in support of Universal Immunization Programmes.
Adar C. Poonawalla