Since launching its vaccination campaign in January of this year, India has given out over a billion Covid vaccines. It reached this milestone in 278 days, with the first vaccine administered on January 16th. It has fully vaccinated approximately 30% (291 million) of the eligible population, with 707 million receiving the first dose.
India aims to fully vaccinate one billion people by the end of 2021, but experts say the drive needs to pick up speed even more in order to meet the target. In order to reach one billion doses in 278 days, India had to administer 3.6 million doses per day on average. However, the number of doses actually administered each day has been inconsistent and varies greatly since January.
So far, the country has reported over 34 million Covid cases, second only to the United States, and over 452,000 deaths, trailing only the United States and Brazil. In the last 24 hours, India has administered over four million vaccinations. According to experts, the country will need to administer more than 10 million doses per day to fully vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of 2021.
On September 17, India administered more than 20 million doses in a single day to commemorate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday. Experts say that while record-breaking days are encouraging, vaccination rates must continue to rise. India administered an average of 5.3 million doses per day in October. From September 19 to October 18, the average daily doses given increased slightly to six million. This is still far short of the required 10 million vaccinations, according to experts. When it came to vaccinations, India got off to a sluggish start, with only 960 million people eligible. During this time, logistical issues and supply bottlenecks, vaccine hesitancy, and a crippling second wave of Covid-19 made the rollout more difficult.
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