India administers 200 million Covid vaccine doses, second-fastest country after US
More than 200 million doses of the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have been administered on the 130th day under the Centre’s inoculation drive that started on January 16, the Union minister of health and family welfare said on Wednesday. India has become the second country after the US to cross the 200-million-mark, the health ministry also said.
Data shared by the health ministry showed that the United States took 124 days to complete 200 million jabs while India was the second-fastest to reach the mark, having done it in 130 days. Among other countries, the United Kingdom has given 61 million doses in 168 days, Brazil has administered 59 million doses in 128 days and Germany, France and Italy have administered 45 million doses, 33 million doses and 31 million doses respectively in 149 days, the data also showed.
In a press release, the health ministry said that 200,662,456 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been delivered so far, as of 7am on Wednesday. This includes 157,149,593 first doses and 43,512,863 second doses of the vaccine, the data from the ministry showed. “As per the latest available data with the Union Health Ministry, over 34 percent [of the] population above 45 years has received at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine in India till date. Similarly, over 42 percent of 60+ years of population in India has received at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine,” the ministry added.
Currently, three vaccines are being used by the government for its massive inoculation drive—Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune, and Covaxin of the Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad. "The Russian Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Emergency Use Authorisation and is being used in few private hospitals which are expected to be increased over the coming days," the ministry added.
India’s vaccination drive entered its third phase on May 1 and the scope of the programme was expanded to include all people above 18 years of age. In the first phase, only healthcare workers and frontline workers were immunised on priority. Later on March 1, people above 60 years of age and between above 45 and 59 years with comorbidities were included in the drive. This was further expanded on April 1 to include all people above 45 years of age.