New Delhi, 16 January 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Around 69 percent of India’s adult population has received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, the Narendra Modi government said on Sunday, as the country marked a year since the jabs started being rolled out.
The country of 1.3 billion people began what it termed the world’s largest vaccination program on Jan. 16, 2020, with the aim of covering the entire adult population of about 900 million by the end of the year.
While that ambitious goal was missed, so far at least one dose has been delivered to 93 percent of the population aged above 18, the government said.
“Our vaccination programme has added great strength to the fight against COVID-19. It has led to saving lives and thus protecting livelihoods,” Prime Minister Modi said in a Twitter post.
“India’s approach to fighting the pandemic will always remain science based … Let us keep following all COVID-19 related protocols and overcome the pandemic.”
India has had one of the biggest caseloads of Covid-19 at around 37 million, second only to the United States. At least 486,066 people have died, a large number of them during a virulent second wave in April-June powered by the Delta variant.
On Saturday, India saw 271,202 new cases of Covid-19, its highest number of daily cases in eight months, but the levels of hospitalization still remain low, Health Ministry officials have said.
The new spike is being largely caused by the Omicron variant, but the Delta variant is also prevalent in India, experts say.