‘What an achievement’: US lawmakers as India's cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage tops 1 billion
Top US lawmakers have congratulated India after the country’s cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage, on Thursday, crossed the 1 billion or 100 crore-mark. Congressman Gregory Meeks, who heads the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “Congratulations to India on reaching this important milestone in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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As a global leader in pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing, the country’s success will help the world overcome this pandemic, Meeks added.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly described the achievement as a “promising milestone.” Kelly said, “Vaccination rates across the world are an important factor in our global recovery from this pandemic.” Senator Steve Daines from Montana, meanwhile, remarked, “Great to see that India has reached 1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccination. What an achievement.”
The New York Times, too, said that topping the 1 billion-mark represented a “turnaround” in a vaccination drive which “got off to a slow start.” Referring to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election rallies in April and May, the newspaper further said that the governing party “prioritised the elections” and showed a “lax attitude” in tackling the virus.
Earlier, the United States’ embassy in India, and the US' deputy secretary of state, Wendy R Sherman, also extended their congratulations on the occasion.
India’s vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease began on January 16, and, since then, 31 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated (received both doses), while 75 per cent beneficiaries have taken at least one dose of a Covid-19 jab. The government aims to fully vaccinate all 944 million adults by the end of the year. However, those below 18 years of age are not yet eligible for inoculation.
The 1 billion-mark includes both single and double-jabbed beneficiaries.
(With PTI inputs)