India crosses 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses

New Delhi, Oct 21 (EFE).- India crossed the 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine mark on Thursday, making it the second country after China to achieve this historic figure in just over nine months.

The South Asian country reached the milestone at 9.47 am local time, according to data from the official Cowin platform, created by the authorities for the management of the vaccination campaign.

“Congrats India on crossing 100 crore (1 billion) vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India, a country of more than 1.25 billion people, administered over 4.1 million doses in the last 24 hours.

Overall, more than 700 million people in India have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while almost 300 million people have been given both doses, still insufficient in a country with about 950 million adults.

Meanwhile, India recorded its lowest daily infections in months, after registering 18,454 new cases in the last 24 hours, far from the more than 400,000 daily cases at the peak of the second wave in the country in May.

The South Asian country has now recorded a total 34.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic started last year.

Moreover, 160 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, compared to the more than 4,000 daily deaths in May, bringing the total fatalities in the nation to 452,811, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.

India, known as the “pharmacy in the world” and also home to the largest vaccine factory, faced serious problems for months in meeting its local demand, especially during the virulent second wave that left images of crowded crematoriums and hospitals on the verge of collapse.

India’s vaccination campaign depends largely on two locally produced formulas: Covishield by AstraZeneca; and Covaxin by the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech.

It also has other licensed vaccines, such as Russian Sputnik V, and American Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. EFE


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