India World

India administers over 22 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to mark Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday

India administered over 22 million Covid vaccine doses in a record-breaking effort to mark PM Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday on Friday.

The effort surpassed the country’s previous daily record of more than 13 million doses on 27 August.

India aims to vaccinate all eligible Indians by the end of 2021 but experts say the drive needs to pick up a consistent pace to meet the target.

It has so far given more than 787 million doses of three approved jabs.

More than half of India’s eligible population – some 588 million people – have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to official data.

But only about 20% of eligible adults have been fully vaccinated since the beginning of the drive in January.

Regional disparities also persist with larger and poorer states lagging behind smaller and richer ones.

India has reported more than 23,000 “adverse events” after vaccination as of 17 May. Most of them were classified as “minor” — anxiety, vertigo, giddiness, dizziness, fever and pain.

It also examined 700 cases of “severe adverse events” and reported 488 deaths until mid-June.

India has reported more than 33 million Covid cases, second only to the US. The country is also only the third in the world to record more than 440,000 deaths – behind the US and Brazil.