"Next Billion Doses Likely In 3 To 4 Months": Vaccine Panel Head To NDTV

Dr N K Arora said 77-80 per cent people in the country have already received the first dose of the vaccine

India achieved the one billion jabs milestone on Thursday. AFP

New Delhi:

It took India a little over nine months to achieve the one billion vaccination milestone, but the next billion doses will only take about three to four months - about one-third the time -- according to Dr NK Arora, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration.

Speaking to NDTV on the day India achieved the one billion jabs milestone, Dr Arora said, "How do I reach 100% of the population by the end of the year? At least one dose we should be able to give most of the adults by the end of the year and within the next 4-6 weeks second doses will also be given."

The government has said that three-quarters of adults in the country have received one shot and around 30 per cent are fully vaccinated.

"We finished 50 crores on 7th August. In October, we had expected 100 crores because that was the supply side, we knew about it. Then in the coming three months, we have the arrangement for about 80-90 crore doses. In fact, by January we will have nearly 100 crore doses. We should be able to do it (another 100 crore) within the next three to four months," Dr Arora said.

He said 77-80 per cent of people in the country have already received the first dose of the vaccine. "We are left with 20% which is about 18-20 crore people who will have to be given an additional one dose. We think by the end of this year everybody will get at least one dose and there will be few who will be left for the second dose," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the RML hospital in Delhi on Thursday to mark the 1 billion jabs milestone. He congratulated the country and called it "the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians".

Uttar Pradesh has administered the highest number of doses so far, followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.