India has now administered over 100 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines, only the second country in the world to do so after China.
After months of acute shortages, a raging second wave, an opaque system of placing vaccine orders and technical glitches, India finally seems to be on track to at least partially inoculate its adult population by December.
So far, more than 70 crore people have received their first dose and more than 29 crore both. Of the 100 crore administered to now, 2.5 crore were recorded on September 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
India is also among the countries where citizens have to pay for vaccines at private hospitals, though doses are free at government centres. Initially, those aged between 18 years and 44 years had to pay even at state-run facilities. The policy was eventually reversed on June 21.
Government-run or pro-government social media accounts celebrating the “1 billion vaccine doses” now, however, thank Modi for the “free” vaccines.
Overall, the country has administered roughly 15% of the total doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the world.
And yet, it has some distance to cover to reach strong immunity.
India’s revised vaccination strategy, which increased the gap between doses of the Covishield vaccine from four weeks to 12 weeks, helped it cover a larger chunk of the population with the first dose. Covishield, the Indian brand of the AstraZeneca vaccine, accounts for over 90% of these shots.
The country, however, lags behind others in fully vaccinating a majority of its population, covering only a little over 20% of Indians.
This article first appeared on Quartz.
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