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India is world’s 2nd fastest after USA to give 200 million Covid vaccine shots to its citizens

India is world’s 2nd fastest after USA to give 200 million Covid vaccine shots to its citizens

India has become the second country in the world after the USA to administer 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to its citizens within 130 days. The USA took 124 days to reach this mark.

Data compiled till 7 am on Wednesday by the Health Ministry show that 20,06,62,456 people have got the vaccine doses with 15,71,49,593 administered the first shot and 4,35,12,863 receiving both the vaccine doses.

The UK administered 51 million Covid vaccine doses in 168 days, Brazil reached the 59 million mark in 128 days, and Germany was able to give 45 million shots in 149 days, the Health Ministry statement said.

However, both the UK and Germany have much smaller populations than India and have succeeded in inoculating a much larger proportion of their people in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, the world’s largest vaccination drive so far, was launched by Prime Minister Narednra Modi on 16th January this year.

As per the latest available data with the Union Health Ministry, over 34 per cent of the population above 45 years has received at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in India till date. Similarly, over 42 per cent of 60+ years of population in India has received at least the first dose.

India is currently using three vaccines against COVID-19 in its immunization drive; these include two made in India vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The Russian Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use and is being used in a few private hospitals which are expected to be increased over the coming days.

Under the Strategy, in every month 50% of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccine doses of any manufacturer would be procured by Govt. of India. It would continue to make these doses available to the State Govts totally free of cost as was being done earlier.

Government of India has so far provided, both through the free of cost category and through direct state procurement category, more than 220 million vaccine doses (22,00,59,880) to States and UTs.

Of this, the total consumption, including wastage is 20,13,74,636 doses as per data available at 8 AM on Wednesday. More than 1.77 crore COVID vaccine doses are still available with the States and UTs for continuing the inoculation programme while more stocks are on their way, the Health Ministry statement added.