A record 8.27 million vaccine doses were administered in India on Monday, the highest ever in a single day.
The government said the sharp upsurge was because of the new phase of universalisation of Covid-19 vaccination, which began on Monday.
“Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight Covid-19. Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line workers working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine,” he tweeted.
Monday also saw the start of the government’s new vaccination policy under which the centre will procure 75 per cent of the vaccine from the market and distribute it to the states. The vaccines are free at all government centres. The remaining will be administered at private hospitals, who can charge Rs150 over the price of the vaccine.
Over 80,000 vaccination centres were operational on Monday across the country. The maximum doses were administered in Madhya Pradesh (1.6 million), followed by Karnataka (1 million), Uttar Pradesh (690,000), Gujarat (500,000), Bihar (488,000) and Haryana (480,000). One of the worst-hit states, Maharashtra, saw 380,000 vaccinations on Monday.
India aims to vaccinate all adults this year
The new guidelines that came into force on Monday saw the centre increase supplies to states resulting in a surge in the number of free vaccination sites. Almost 30 million doses have been given to the states and over 80,000 government vaccination centres were functioning on the first day of the new system.
Estimates are that the government will have to ensure 8.2 million doses every day to cover all Indians above 18 by the end of the year.