New Delhi: India crossed two crore Covid vaccinations in a day for the first time today as the government raced to deliver a record on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. The government had set out with a target of 2.5 crore vaccinations.China inoculated the most number of people in a day – 2.47 crore – in June.
The one crore-mark was crossed by the afternoon, after which ministers and BJP leaders put out tweets urging more to get their shots.
“On PM @Narendra Modi Ji”s birthday, till 1:30 pm, the country has crossed the mark of 1 crore vaccines, the fastest so far, and we are continuously moving forward. I believe that today we will all make a new record of vaccination and give it as a gift to the prime minister,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted with the hashtags “VaccineSeva” and “HappyBdayModiji”.
The government’s tracker showed around 42,000 vaccinations in a minute, said a senior health officer.
“Celebrating the relentless efforts of India’s vaccinators against COVID-19, we have added a ticker to show vaccinations happening in near real-time. We are currently clocking over 42,000 vaccinations/minute or 700/second,” tweeted National Health Authority chief RS Sharma.
“Our top priority is to give 100 per cent first doses of the vaccine in poll-bound states,” said government sources, referring to state elections next year.
The vaccination campaign is at the core of the BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark the Prime Minister’s 71st birthday.
To achieve its target, the BJP had prepped health volunteers “to ensure that the maximum number of people get their COVID-19 vaccines on the day”.
In recent days, India has reported more than one crore Covid shots in a day more than once.
Senior BJP leaders say the party wants to see the day “recorded in history” as one that saw a record number of Covid vaccines given.
Before today, the country crossed one crore vaccinations in a day on September 6, August 31 and August 27.
It took 85 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach the 30-crore mark, according to the health ministry.
Nationwide inoculations started in January in phases, with health workers getting the shots to start with.The drive was extended to all adults from May.