13:55 GMT24 July 2021
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Over eight million people received a vaccine against COVID-19 in India on the first day of free vaccination for the entire elderly population, the country’s health ministry said on Monday.

    "The new phase of universalization of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from today. In a landmark achievement, nearly 81 lakh (80,95,314) [8,095,314] doses have been administered on the first day of the new phase of COVID-19 Vaccination," the statement said.

    The government plans to accelerate the pace and scope of the nationwide vaccination, providing the free supply of vaccines to Indian regions procured by the regions themselves and private hospitals.

    India still occupies the second place in the world in the number of people infected with COVID-19, having registered so far 29.9 million cases and over 388,000 deaths. The so-called Delta COVID-19 strain, first identified in India, which is more contagious and resistant to human immunity than others, is reportedly becoming the dominant one in the world and provoking new waves of infection in different countries.


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