India vaccinates 75% of its adult population

New Delhi, Jan 30 (EFE).- India has vaccinated 75 percent of its adult population against Covid-19 in just over a year, the health ministry said Sunday.

The milestone in the world’s largest vaccination drive was achieved amid a third wave of coronavirus in the country with more than 230,000 daily cases being recorded.

A total of 705.4 million people – 75 percent of the population over 18 years of age of around 950 million – have received two doses of the vaccine, according to the latest data from the health ministry.

The figure falls short of the goal set by the Indian government to fully vaccinate 100 percent of the adult population by December last year.

In mid-January, India also began vaccinating children in the 15-18 years age group and administering booster shots to healthcare workers and those over 60 years old with co-morbidities.

In total, 1.657 billion vaccine doses have been administered throughout the country at an average of 5.8 million jabs per day.

At the current rate, the world’s second most populated country is expected to accomplish its objective of fully vaccinating its adult population by mid-May.

“Congratulations to our fellow citizens for this momentous feat,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a message on Twitter.

“Proud of all those who are making our vaccination drive a success,” he added.

Despite being known as “the world’s pharmacy” for its status as the largest vaccine manufacturer, India faced serious problems for months to meet local demand.

India’s campaign relies heavily on two locally manufactured vaccines: the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine and Covaxin by Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech.

It has also authorized other vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik.

India has passed the peak of a third wave that began in early December, pushing the country past 300,000 daily cases in a matter of weeks.

In line with preliminary indications, Indian health authorities confirmed this week that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is now the dominant strain in the country.

According to Sunday’s figures, 234,281 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours.

However, Covid deaths and the number of severe cases are significantly lower compared with the second wave that hit the country in May last year.

According to Agarwal, more than 90 percent of the active cases are in home isolation indicating mild to moderate severity, which authorities attribute to vaccination and herd immunity gained in the last two years. EFE


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