On the 130th day of India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, the country reached a milestone by exceeding the 200 million vaccination mark on Wednesday, becoming the second nation after the United States to achieve this level, India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday.
India's coronavirus vaccination campaign was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 January 2021 and until now, 42 percent of India’s population who are above the age of 60 have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Other leading countries in the COVID-19 vaccination stakes include the UK, which reached 51 million in 168 days, Brazil, which crossed the 59 million mark in 128 days and Germany, which hit 45 million in 149 days.
At present, India is using three vaccines against COVID-19, two of which were made in India - Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin - and Russia's Sputnik V which recently got approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency authorisation.
Meanwhile, Indian states such as Delhi, Maharashtra and Jharkhand have closed down hundreds of vaccination centers because of the short supply of vaccines by two domestic manufacturers. Russia has delivered two batches of Sputnik V vaccine to India and local production will start in June.