India surpasses the United States in the number of vaccines administered with 323.6 million

The data breaks down to about 267 million with at least one dose, and just over 56 million people vaccinated with the two sessions required for immunisation

AFP/ARUN SANKAR  -   Frontline workers wait to be inoculated with the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a mass vaccination camp in Chennai

India on Monday surpassed the United States in the number of doses of anti-COVID vaccines administered, in total terms, with more than 323.6 million injections given after nearly six months of its national immunisation plan.

According to official data from the Ministry of Health, India reached a total of 323,663,297 doses in the last 24 hours, according to the provisional report counted up to 7:00 local time (1:30 GMT) on Monday.

This number exceeds the 323.3 million vaccines given in the United States so far, despite the fact that the US campaign began its vaccination programme a month earlier than India, according to comparative data from Indian authorities.

AP/ALTAF QADRI - A health worker takes a nasal swab sample from a passenger to test for COVID-19 at a bus terminal in New Delhi, India

However, with a population of more than 1.35 billion, this breaks down to some 267 million with at least one dose, and just over 56 million people vaccinated with the two sessions required for immunisation.

The numbers suggest a delay in the authorities' own plans to vaccinate 300 million people in the first six months, which are due on 16 July.

Reaching the 300 million target would mean covering a third of its adult population which, according to official data, is estimated at 950 million people over the age of 18.

AFP/SAJJAD HUSSAIN - A woman waits to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a health centre in New Delhi

Fully immunising 300 million people would mean administering an additional 245 million doses, assuming that only those who have received a single injection so far would complete the cycle.

India has accelerated its vaccination campaign in recent days, recording daily records over the past week, the largest of which was last Monday when it vaccinated more than nine million people in a single day.

However, with less than 20 days to go, the nation would have to vaccinate some 12 million people per day by 16 July.

AP/CHANNI ANAND - Citizens in India

Full immunisation of the population in the shortest possible time is, for the central government and experts, the only viable way out of the coronavirus crisis.

With 46,148 new cases confirmed today by the Health Ministry, India is recovering from the impact of a virulent second wave that peaked in the second week of May with more than 400,000 infections in one day and more than 4,000 deaths.