As vaccine shortage looms, India witnessed record breaking number on day one of free vax launch. More than 82 lakh COVID¬ 19 vaccine doses were administered on Monday, the highest jabs ever in a day since the vaccination drive began in India. The data on government’s cowin website showed a total of 80,95,314 vaccine, including the first and second shots were administered till 8:00 pm on day one of centre’s new vaccination policy roll-out.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the record-breaking vaccination numbers are “gladdening.” Government has set the next milestone as 100% vaccination. Is it achievable by 2021 end? High number data shows that many Indian states have accelerated the vaccination drive. Assam has administered 3:19 lacs doses in a day; Karnataka has vaccinated more than 10 lac people; MP has given 16,01,548 doses in a day; UP has given 6,74,576 doses in a day; Rajasthan has delivered 4,30,439 doses in a day; Maharashtra administered 3,78,945 doses given in a day and West Bengal has distributed 3,17,991 doses in a day.

Faster vaccination process comes as a sign of relief amid the emerging deadly delta variant of the sars-cov-2 virus. Delta variant is becoming a cause of concern in the country with its highly infectious mutations and ability to resist the monoclonal antibody treatment. The first case of delta plus variant in India was reported in a 65-year-old woman from Bhopal, who had recovered from covid-19 under home isolation and was also administered two doses of the vaccine.

Following this, there were a number of cases reported from different parts off the county. In Maharashtra 21 cases were detected; 18 cases found in Manipur; 4 cases found in Mizoram; over 20 cases detected in Tamil Nadu; in Kerala, samples from Palakkad and Pathanamth districts have been collected; 4 cases reported in Shivpuri district of MP and Punjab is also gripped with delta variant.

WHO categorised delta variant as ‘variant of concern’. India needs to be better prepared to face new upcoming variants of covid19 which is indeed an issue of concern. India is picking up and has to only hasten the national vaccination drive to achieve the set 100% vaccination milestone.