India COVID-19 vaccination drive sets 2 billion dose-record in just 18 months
India COVID-19 vaccination: India launched the world's largest vaccination drive against Covid last year. It was expanded to give booster shots this year.
India has crossed a big milestone of giving 2 billion vaccine doses, a year after it launched the world's largest vaccination drive against coronavirus. The country has been trying to ramp up vaccination efforts amid global concerns over fresh Covid waves. Among the Asian countries, Japan has seen a major uptick in cases recently, while France has been topping the global dashboard.
Shortly after the 200 crore-th dose was given, PM Modi tweeted: “India creates history again! Congrats to all Indians on crossing the special figure of 200 crore vaccine doses. Proud of those who contributed to making India’s vaccination drive unparalleled in scale and speed. This has strengthened the global fight against COVID-19.”
“India has set a new record by completing the target of 200 crore vaccinations in just 18 months. Heartiest congratulations to all the countrymen on this achievement,” health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said in a video address.
Even as India crosses a big milestone, the booster dose coverage has been a matter of concern. Only 8 per cent of the country's total population has got the third shot against Covid so far, the government said earlier this week. On Friday, a 75-day campaign for free booster shots at government centres was launched countrywide in a bid to encourage people.
The campaign also marks 75 years of India's independence, which the country completes next month.
On Saturday, the government had set up a digital clock, ticking backwards to determine the number of vaccination doses left to administer to reach the target as India inched closer to the achievement.
Soon after the milestone was passed Sunday, reactions poured on Twitter. "India breaches 200 crore Covid vaccination mark. A historic moment, an inspiring journey, achieved under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji. Thanks to our healthcare workers for their dedication to win the fight against Covid (sic)," wrote union minister Bhagwanth Khuba.
At 4,37,50,599, India has the second highest overall cases in the world after the United States. The country has been recording more than 20,000 cases everyday for the last four days.