India's Vaccine Drive Jumped 4-Fold As More Included And PM Modi Received Shot
Following a sluggish start, India's Covid-19 vaccination drive -- one of the world's biggest -- has jumped nearly four-fold after the country opened it up to more people and got a crucial public endorsement from the inoculation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Almost 21 million shots have been administered in India so far, up from 5.4 million a month ago, according to data compiled as of Sunday by Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University. The number of doses per 100 people has also climbed to 1.56 from 0.41. A record 1.6 million Indians received a Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday, data show.
After an initially lukewarm response -- due in part to the controversial approval of a homegrown vaccine before it had completed clinical trials -- the vaccination drive gained some momentum after PM Modi took the injection on March 1 and urged others to follow suit. India also opened the rollout to all citizens above 60 years of age and those 45 and older with co-morbidities, either for free from a state center or for a fee of as much as 250 rupees ($3.40) at private hospitals.