India exceeds 2 billion administered Covid-19 vaccines

New Delhi, Jul 17 (EFE).- India has administered over 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines, according to its Cowin vaccine platform on Sunday.

The milestone means India has administered the second highest number of coronavirus jabs in the world, behind only China, which has issued 3 billion.

Over the past 24 hours, Indian authorities injected nearly 2.6 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, the health ministry reported in its daily bulletin.

More than a billion people have received the first shot in India, while just over 920 million have been injected twice, and 550 million have received a third dose.

India, a country of 1.4 million inhabitants, kicked off its inoculating campaign on 16 January 2021.

“India creates history again! Congrats to all Indians on crossing the special figure of 200 crore vaccine doses,” India’s prime minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

“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,” he added.

India began on Friday to administer a third dose to the entire adult population for free, as the Asian country experiences a slight rise in cases. The free booster will end 75 days into the campaign as India commemorates the 75th anniversary of independence.

Over 20,000 new Covid-19 cases have been detected in the last 24 hours for the fourth consecutive day, its highest since the beginning of the year, the health ministry reported.

In the last 24 hours, 49 deaths were also reported, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic in India to 525,709 people.

India’s campaign relies heavily on two locally manufactured drugs — AstraZeneca’s Covishield and locally developed Covaxin, from the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech. It also has other authorized vaccines, such as the Russian Sputnik V, and the American Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. EFE


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