India has delivered more than 75 crores of Covid vaccine doses since the launch of the nationwide drive in January this year, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said today. At this rate, up to 43 per cent of the country's population will be covered by December.
Referring to the "milestone" of 75 crore doses, Minister Mandaviya today sought to link it to India's celebration of 75 years of its Independence -- Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav ("The great immortal celebration of freedom").
"Congratulations India! With PM Narendra Modi's 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' mantra, the world's biggest vaccination campaign has been relentlessly creating new dimensions. #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav, in the 75th year of independence, the country has crossed 75 crore doses of vaccination," Mr Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi.
To stop a third wave of the pandemic, experts have said India needs to cover at least 60 per cent of the population with both doses of the vaccine by the year end. This requires a vaccination rate of 12 million doses per day. The government had, however, announced a more ambitious target of 200 crore doses by December.
The rate of inoculation managed by India over the past seven days was 7.7 million a day, leaving a shortfall of 4.3 million doses, according to data released by the Union government. India the past 24 hours alone, India delivered 5.3 million doses, with a shortfall of 6.7 million.
India recorded its first Covid case on January 30 last year. Over 3.3 crore Indians have by now been infected with COVID-19 since then, with more than 4.4 lakhs succumbing to the disease. Up to 3,74,269 people remain actively infected as of today.
PM Modi launched the country's Covid vaccination programme in January this year. Two vaccines -- Covaxin and Covishield -- were deployed in the drive at first, with the government giving the nod to others later on.
However, India saw its worst phase of the pandemic in the second wave that swept the country in the middle of the year. In recent months, though, things have eased up much. Fears of a third wave linger, however.