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WHO chief scientist lauds India's COVID-19 vaccine milestone
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 08 - 2021

World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan on Friday congratulated India for vaccinating over half of its adult population and crossing the 620 million mark in its nationwide inoculation drive.
"India achieves 50% coverage (at least one dose) of adult populn – 620 million doses administered, 10 million in the past day! Congratulations to the thousands of personnel involved. Vaccination, along with public health & individual preventive measures will protect everyone!" Swaminathan tweeted.
India on Friday administered a record 10 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in a single day, a feat that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called "momentous".
"Record vaccination numbers today! Crossing 1 crore is a momentous feat. Kudos to those getting vaccinated and those making the vaccination drive a success," PM Modi wrote.
Several others joined Swaminathan in congratulating the country. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in a tweet, lauded the "collective efforts of the government, R&D community, vaccine manufacturers" and health care workers who made this possible.
Gates took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, "Congratulations, India, on reaching this tremendous milestone." He also shared a news article on the vaccine coverage.
American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates on Saturday congratulated India for reaching a "tremendous milestone" of administering 10 million vaccine doses against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Friday, thus recording the highest single-day vaccine coverage so far.
This, Gates said, was the result of the collective efforts of the government, the research and development (R&D) community, vaccine manufacturers, and all the health workers who made this feat possible.
Gates also tagged the Twitter handles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which, in turn, retweeted his post.
A total of 10,064,376 doses were administered in India on Friday, bettering the previous high of 8.82 million doses se.t on August 16.
About 6.9 million vaccine doses were administered on average across the country every day for the past week, the highest pace of the inoculation drive ever recorded in the country since the start of the mass program on Jan. 16.
Now almost 37 percent of India's 1.3 billion population is covered with at least one dose, whereas 10 percent have received both doses. In terms of the 94 crore 18-plus population, 51 percent have been covered with at least one dose, while 15 percent have got both doses.
August is India's best month in vaccination coverage; the country has crossed 15 crore doses so far — higher than 13.45 crore doses in July and 11.97 crore doses in June. India's tally is second highest in the world as China has reported administering 20.8 million vaccines on July 21. — Agencies


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