India gives 25m vaccine doses in drive to mark PM Modi’s birthday

India gives 25m vaccine doses in drive to mark PM Modi’s birthday
A health worker administers the vaccine for COVID-19 during a special vaccination drive by the municipal corporation at a bus stand in Ahmedabad, India, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

India has administered 25 million doses during a special Covid-19 vaccination drive organised on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.

The campaign took place on Friday as he turned 71, and the Health Ministry said the drive had raised India’s overall vaccinations to more than 790 million.

Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya called the feat “a golden chapter… written in the history of the country and the world”.

Narendra Modi (Victoria Jones/PA)

Only China has administered more vaccines. The Chinese government said this week it had given more than 2.16 billion jabs and a billion Chinese people were fully vaccinated.

India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, has given at least one dose to more than 62% of eligible adults and two doses to about 21%.

Health ministry officials say they plan to administer more than a billion by mid-October.

India has reported more than 33 million coronavirus cases and 444,529 deaths, and is recording over 30,000 new cases a day.

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