In what can be seen as a massive achievement for India, a study conducted by Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal has revealed that the country’s mega vaccine drive prevented over 42 lakh deaths in 2021. The projections mentioned in the Lancet study reveal that India’s vaccination drive may have helped reduce the mortality rate by bringing down the number of deaths to almost a third.

«For India, we estimate that 4,210,000 deaths were prevented by vaccination. This is our central estimate, with the uncertainty in this estimate ranging between 3,665,000-4,370,000. (This is our 95 per cent credible in

terval,» the study said. 

Oliver Watson, the lead author of the study, said that the study refers to estimates of excess mortality in India during the Covid-19 pandemic by a British weekly newspaper and the WHO, adding, «Independently, our group has also investigated the Covid-19 death toll based on reports of excess mortality and seroprevalence surveys and arrived at similar estimates of almost 10 times the official count.»

Globally, about 20 million deaths were averted due to the Covid-19 vaccination. The study said, «Across 185 countries and territories, 31.4 million Covid-19-related deaths would have occurred during this timeframe in the absence of Covid-19 vaccination. About 19.8 million deaths were averted by Covid-19 vaccination.»

As a result, the number of lives saved due to Covid-19 vaccination exceeded the potential death toll. However, the study added, «Even more lives could have been saved by improving the equitability of vaccination coverage worldwide. Specifically, an estimated 156,900 additional deaths would have been averted if the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility›s vaccination target of 20 per cent (for each advance market commitment country) had been attained, and an estimated 599,300 additional deaths would have been averted if WHO›s 2021 Covid-19 vaccination target of 40 per cent had been attained.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday that India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has crossed the 196 crore mark. As per the official data, over 3.6 crore adolescents have been administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and about 2 crore Covid-19 precaution doses have been given to people, who are above the age of 18.