India has inoculated more people with first dose of Covid-19 vaccine than US: VK Paul

The head of India's Covid-19 task force said 17.2 crore people have received at least one dose of a vaccine in India.

The head of India’s coronavirus task force, Dr V K Paul, said the country has overtaken the United States in terms of the number of people who have received their first shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.

“As per data, the number of people who have received at least one dose of vaccine in India is 17.2 crore. We have overtaken the US in terms of the number of people in our country who have received the first dose of vaccine,” Paul was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Reiterating the government’s stance that people should not act carelessly as Covid-19 cases dip, Paul said, “When the peak is declining and we suddenly get into the same behaviour as a society like in January and February, it (the virus) will come back again in a certain way. We have to buy time to ensure that we achieve high coverage of our vaccination.”

India’s daily caseload dipped to 1,20,529 on Saturday with active cases now standing at 15,55,248, a decline of 80,745 infections from the previous day.

The country is currently administering three vaccines, Covaxin (Bharat Biotech), Covishield (Serum Institute of India) and Sputnik V from Russia.

Dr Paul’s statement came a day after Serum Institute of India (SII) received ‘preliminary’ approval from the Drugs Controller General of India to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine. SII is currently in the process of ramping up its production capacity for Covishield, which accounts for nearly 90 per cent of the doses administered in India so far.

While the company was previously able to make around 60-70 million doses of the vaccine every month, its CEO had earlier said that the monthly production would hit 100 million doses by the end of July.

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