TOPLINE: India has administered more than 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines, officials announced on Thursday, a major milestone for one of the world’s largest immunization programs, but concerns remain about the gap between adults who are fully vaccinated and those who have received only one dose.
According to India’s official vaccine tracker, the country has administered 1,000,220,711 doses as of Thursday morning.
The country of 1.3 billion people is now the second in the world to cross the one billion dose milestone after China, which crossed the threshold in June.
Around 75% of India’s adult population has received one vaccine dose but only 30% are fully vaccinated, raising concerns that a large swathe of the population still remains vulnerable to the highly infectious delta variant of Covid-19.
Despite concerns, India’s vaccine rollout has helped curb new infections in the country which was devastated by the delta variant earlier this year.
Speaking at a meeting last week, the head of India’s Covid task force VK Paul indicated that focus will now shift towards ramping up the administration of the second dose.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the milestone by tweeting: “India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore (1.3 billion) Indians…Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.”
452,811. That’s the total number of Indians who have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to official Indian government data. However, number experts and local media reports have suggested that number is a massive undercount, with some suggesting the actual toll could be over 4 million.
By Siladitya Ray, Forbes Staff