New Delhi : Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare today released a commemorative Postal Stamp on COVID-19 Vaccine to mark the 1st anniversary of India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination program along with Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare and Devusinh Chauhan, Union Minister of State for Communications.
The commemorative stamp design features a healthcare worker inoculating a senior citizen with COVID-19 vaccine, along with an image of ‘COVAXIN’ vial. This stamp signifies the remarkable work done by our frontline healthcare workers and scientific community across the country in protecting the people against the COVID pandemic.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Health & Family Welfare said, “This is a historic occasion for us as postal stamp is being released on completion of one year of world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination program, which was rolled out in India on 16th January, 2021. Within a span of one year, we have administered more than 156 Crore COVID-19. Our vaccination program is in fact a role model for the global community. It is because of Jan Bhagidari that India was able to achieve this feat. He thanked all the Healthcare professionals, scientific community, vaccine manufacturers and all the people for their relentless hardwork and dedication in fighting the Covid Pandemic.
Highlighting the remarkable efforts of all the stakeholders in our collective fight against COVID-19, the Union Health Minister said “The entire world community is surprised with our efforts in fighting the COVID pandemic. Despite having a high density of population, we have been able to administer more than 156 Crore COVID-19 Vaccine doses. India has encountered various challenges along the journey but it is the resolve and dedication of more than 135 crore people that we could overcome every challenge. Credit goes to our indigenous Research and Development and streamlined Production and Distribution of Vaccines. Amidst the environment of criticism and disbelief, the country gathered its spirits and worked against those who wanted to spread doubts and misinformation against indigenous vaccines and create vaccine hesitancy.”
He further highlighted that India’s vaccination program is a story of the unparalleled journey of the country. It showcases the Indian model and the extraordinary achievement of our country guided by the unshakable conviction of the Hon’ble Prime Minister in the hidden potential and capabilities of the citizens of our country.
Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said that “The enormous preparation required with little time has made it an unparalleled journey. Understanding the highly infectious nature of the disease and the need to ensure overall healthcare availability across the country was vital”. India did a strategic re-purposing of existing health infrastructure to ensure that the health systems providing primary healthcare at grassroots levels were strengthened, he added.
The Union Minister remarked that Proactive, Pre-emptive, and graded whole of Government and the whole of society approach are the hallmarks of India’s Covid response. Earlier, the process of vaccine research to vaccine availability for common people took several years but it was the visionary leadership of our Hon’ble Prime Minister that it could be achieved in just nine months. Our Prime Minister has always encouraged our scientific fraternity and development of indigenous Covid vaccines in record time is an outcome of his strong belief, he added.
Applauding the collective efforts of all, the Union Health Minister said that India’s Vaccine drive is indeed an example of what India can achieve if citizens come together in the spirit of Jan Bhagidari as remarked by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.
Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of state for Health & Family Welfare added that, “The Government of India under the dynamic leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has taken significant steps to tackle COVID-19 pandemic. Developing indigenous vaccines was one of the major challenges. We achieved this by developing and manufacturing indigenous COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN in the shortest duration. Today, around 93% and 69.8% of the eligible population has been administered with first dose and second dose of COVID-19 Vaccine respectively.
Reiterating ICMR’s crucial role, she further added that ICMR has played a key role in Vaccination drive by developing diagnostic kits and guidelines from time-to-time. She also congratulated both ICMR and Bharat Biotech team for developing indigenous vaccines in such a short span of time, which has also got worldwide acceptance.
Speaking on the occasion, Devusinh Chauhan, Union Minister of State for Communications said, “I laud the efforts of the Department of Post for its initiative to release postal stamps on COVAXIN. It is a historic day for us all as India’s vaccination drive completes 1 year today. I congratulate all the frontline workers for their hardwork”
Addressing the event, Dr Balram Bhargava, Secretary DHR & DG, ICMR said, “We are truly honoured to issue commemorative postal stamps to mark the 1st anniversary of India’s vaccination program. We are proud of our legacy and will continue to innovate in medical research. Development of indigenous vaccine COVAXIN is a remarkable milestone in India’s scientific capability.”
Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR, Shri Ashok Kumar Poddar, Addl. DG, Department of Post, Shri. Krishna Ella, Chairman, Bharat Biotech and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.