India has administered more than a billion Covid shots since it began its vaccination campaign in January of this year.
It reached this milestone in 278 days: the first vaccine was administered on January 16.
Approximately 30% (291 million) of the eligible population were fully vaccinated, and 707 million received the first dose.
India aims to fully vaccinate around one billion people by the end of 2021, but experts say the push needs to accelerate further to reach the target.
Reaching one billion in 278 days means that India, on average, has administered 3.6 million doses per day. However, the number of doses actually administered each day since January was inconsistent and varied widely.
So far, the country has reported over 34 million cases of Covid, second only to the United States, and over 452,000 deaths, behind the United States and Brazil.
How is the roll out going?
In the past 24 hours, India has given more than four million hits.
Experts estimate that the country must administer more than 10 million doses per day to fully vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of 2021.
This estimated daily goal, however, has so far only been achieved in six days.
On September 17, India administered more than 20 million doses in one day in a record effort to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday.
Experts say record days are encouraging, but vaccination rates need to rise steadily.
In October, India administered an average of 5.3 million doses per day. From September 19 to October 18, the average daily doses administered improved slightly to six million. This is still far below the 10 million required shots that experts say are needed to reach the goal.
India got off to a slow start when vaccinations were opened for some 960 million eligible people.
Logistical problems and supply bottlenecks, vaccine hesitation, and a debilitating second wave of Covid-19 during this time have made launching more difficult.
India is still around 900 million shots from a fully vaccinated adult population, with just under two and a half months to devote to the target.
Much will depend on the levels of vaccination hesitation and the availability of doses in the coming months.
From a slow start, India has massively stepped up its vaccination campaign, with over 61,000 public and private health facilities offering the vaccine.
The country has also begun delivering vaccines via drones to remote villages in the mountainous regions of northeastern India.
The drones will also be used to ferry the doses to the eastern Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, where “boat transport” took a long time.
The government is using drones that can carry a 4.5kg payload or up to 900 doses and fly at least 70km (43 miles) to ferry the doses.
The daily case count in India has decreased: fewer than 30,000 new cases have been reported daily in the past month and fewer than 20,000 in the past 10 days.
Although the vaccination campaign has gained momentum, experts fear a gender gap: government data shows that 6% fewer women are vaccinated. This is especially true in rural India, where women have limited access to the internet and are reluctant or scared to get the vaccine.
Although more daily doses are administered in rural areas, the share of the population vaccinated in urban areas is even greater.
Most countries, especially developing countries, have struggled to access vaccines, a challenge India, as the world’s largest vaccine producer, did not expect to face.
But Modi’s government didn’t order vaccine makers early enough, and a devastating second wave in April prompted them to expand the thrust to the entire adult population, which is nearly a billion, too quickly.
In June, the government told the Supreme Court that 1.35 billion doses will be available between August and December. It would take about 1.8 billion doses to vaccinate all eligible adults in India.
What vaccines is India using?
India is using three vaccines: the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known locally as Covishield; Covaxin of the Indian firm Bharat Biotech; and the Russian-made Sputnik V.
India has also approved its first vaccine for children under 18.
The three-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 66% of vaccinees, according to an interim study cited by vaccine manufacturer Cadila Healthcare. The ZyCoV-D vaccine is also the world’s first DNA vaccine against Covid-19.
The government also authorized Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla will import Moderna’s vaccine, which has been shown to be nearly 95% effective against Covid-19. But it is not yet clear how many doses will be made available to India.
Many other vaccines are in various stages of approval.
Vaccination is voluntary. More than 60,000 centers, mostly state-owned, offer jabs, but people can also pay for a dose at private facilities.
The government is spending approximately $ 5 billion to provide free doses in state clinics, public health centers and hospitals
Were there any “adverse events” after vaccination?
People can experience side effects from vaccines.
India has a 34-year surveillance program to monitor “adverse events” after immunization. Experts say failure to transparently report such incidents could lead to fear of vaccines.
India reported more than 23,000 “adverse events” after vaccination from May 17. Most of them were classified as “minor” – anxiety, dizziness, dizziness, dizziness, fever and pain.
It also reviewed 700 cases of “serious adverse events” and reported 488 dead until mid-June.
But the government said that didn’t mean they were due to vaccination, adding that “the risk of dying from vaccination is negligible compared to the known risk of dying from Covid-19 disease.”
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