India’s Covid vaccination drive outpaced all Group of Seven (G7) countries combined during August, as the Asian nation administered more than 180 million doses in a bid to prevent a third wave of the virus.
The Indian government stepped up its inoculation program during the summer in a bid to ensure that all residents who are eligible to receive the jab are fully vaccinated by the end of 2021.
Announcing the milestone achievement on Twitter, the Indian government’s citizen engagement platform declared that it is leading Covid vaccination campaigns globally. The 180+ million doses administered during August put India at more than triple the next nation in the rankings – Brazil, at 50 million – and more than all G7 members combined.
As it stands, India has administered a total of 686 million doses of Covid vaccines, using the AstraZeneca, Covaxin, and Sputnik jabs, with more than half of the country’s eligible population having been given at least one dose. However, currently only around 17% of eligible Indian adults are fully vaccinated against Covid, eight months after the country began its inoculation program.
However, the country’s vaccination drive has been hampered by disparities between different regions, as larger and poorer areas lag behind their smaller and richer neighbors, raising the threat of a new wave of Covid sweeping across the country.
Back in July, the Indian Medical Association, which represents doctors in the country, warned that the easing of travel restrictions before enough citizens are double jabbed risks makes a third wave inevitable. The group declared that a “tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour are all needed but can wait for few more months,” warning that “the government and public are complacent.”
The issue of improving vaccination programs in rural areas faced additional challenges earlier this year, as India struggled to secure enough doses of Covid jabs to meet the necessary demand domestically. Since the second wave of the virus in April sent case numbers to record highs, the government has sought to bolster its vaccine supplies, with the Indian government stating that 1.35 billion doses will be made available between August and December.
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