INDIA on Monday (21) saw a record eight million vaccines being administered as a major boost to its battle against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s health ministry revealed the data on the first day of revised guidelines for the country’s vaccination drive.
The number of doses administered on Monday was the highest in a day since the drive was launched in the world’s second-most populous country on January 16.
India is the second-worst affected nation with almost 30 million cases, next only to the United States with 33.5 million.
Around 283 million people have been vaccinated in India so far.
Prime minister Narendra Modi said: “(The) central government is beginning the ‘Free Vaccination For All campaign’ for every Indian from today. The biggest beneficiary of this phase of India’s vaccination drive shall be the poor, the middle class and the youth of the country. All of us should pledge to get ourselves vaccinated. Together we will defeat Covid-19.”
Well done India, says Modi
He also lauded the vaccination numbers of Monday tweeting: “Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19. Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine. Well done India!”
India’s health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also praised the vaccination numbers while environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Twitter: “Almost 75 lakh vaccine (7.5 million) doses administered today so far and counting….”
Under the revised guidelines released by the central government on June 8, ministers will procure 75 per cent of the vaccines made by domestic manufacturers.
These would be provided free of charge to the states and union territories which will then administer them to all citizens for free through government vaccination centres.
Everyone aged above 18 years is eligible for the free vaccines.
Earlier, the states and private hospitals were allowed to procure 50 per cent of the vaccines following demands for decentralisation of the process. However, following complaints from several states, including those on funding, the prime minister came up with the revised guidelines.