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India tops HALF-BILLION mark in total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered

India has administered more than 500 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines during its mass-inoculation drive, with the proportion of people in the country who have received at least one dose approaching the 30% mark.

The half-a-billion-dose milestone was reached by India on Friday, the latest official statistics show.

The impressive figure was achieved on the 203rd day of the nationwide mass-vaccination campaign, launched on January 16, and has been lauded by the country’s top officials.

“India’s fight against Covid-19 receives a strong impetus. Vaccination numbers cross the 500,000,000-mark. We hope to build on these numbers and ensure our citizens are vaccinated,” India’s PM Narendra Modi tweeted.

The figure might be massive in absolute terms, but the country still has a long way to go to vaccinate all of its 1.36-billion population. So far, only about 8% of Indians have been inoculated, while just over 28% of the country’s citizens have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

The country has endured a severe second wave of coronavirus in April-May, clocking some 400,000 new cases on a daily basis. While the situation has improved since then, India continues to detect around 40,000 new Covid-19 infections daily.

The country remains the second-worst coronavirus-hit nation in the world, with nearly 32 million cases registered and more than 426,000 deaths, with its absolute Covid-19 figures dwarfed only by the US’ tally.