New Delhi, Jan 16 (EFE).- India on Sunday marked one year of its coronavirus vaccination campaign, during which it has administered more than 1.5 billion doses, amid a third wave propelled by the highly infectious omicron variant.
However, the third wave has resulted in fewer hospitalizations mainly due to the country’s widespread inoculation drive.
“Today we mark #1YearOfVaccineDrive. I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive. Our vaccination programme has added great strength to the fight against COVID-19,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Asian country has so far administered 1.567 billion vaccine shots to its population aged over 15 years, with 655 million of its 1.35 billion inhabitants receiving both doses, according to the latest official data released by the Ministry of Health.
In the last 24 hours, India administered 6.6 million doses, a number far from the daily record of 25 million vaccine shots administered on Sep.17, to commemorate Modi’s 71st birthday.
India’s drive relies largely on two locally manufactured formulas: Covishield by AstraZeneca, produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII); and Covaxin by the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech.
It also has five other licensed vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik.
The current third wave of coronavirus in India has caused a rapid rise in cases, which went from less than 10,000 just a few weeks ago to more than 270,000 on Sunday, putting pressure on vaccine production as the country prepared to roll out booster doses for its population. EFE