Over 250 million doses administered in India in 5 months of vaccination drive

New Delhi Jun 16 (EFE).- India administered a total of 257,663,211 jabs by Wednesday after five months of its so-called world’s largest vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

According to data on COWIN, a platform designed for vaccine distribution in the country, so far 209.8 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 47.7 million have got both doses required for immunization.

The numbers are still well below the country’s initial plan of immunizing some 300 million of its 1.35 billion population by July, following the launch of the campaign in January.

This would mean inoculating nearly one-third of its adult population, which according to official figures is around 950 million.

Thus, in order to reach its target India would need to administer a total 600 million doses over next one month, or more than 10 million vaccines per day.

Over the last one week, the country has administered an average 3.1 million vaccine doses per day.

The limited availability of vaccines has been a setback in the country’s vaccination plan, and despite being the headquarters of the world’s largest vaccine factory, India has not been able to properly reach its large population.

The country has relied on two vaccines so far – Covishield by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and the indigenous Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, both of which are manufactured locally.

Adar Poonawalla, the head of Serum Institute of India – world’s largest vaccine manufacturer which is producing Covishield -, has said their production capacity has reached the limit and will not be able to meet local demand by itself.

The authorities have also issued emergency use and import licenses for the Russian formula Sputnik V.

Immunizing the population in the shortest possible time is the only viable way out of the coronavirus crisis, according to experts.

With nearly 70,000 fresh cases in the last 24 hours confirmed by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, India is recovering from the impact of a second wave of Covid-19.

Last month, the country was recording more than 400,000 infections and over 4,000 deaths every day, which crippled the healthcare system, with a shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds. EFE


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