BENGALURU, June 21 (Reuters) – India gave out a record 7.5 million vaccine doses on Monday under a federal campaign to inoculate all adults for free after weeks of criticism that a chaotic rollout had worsened a second wave that killed hundreds of thousands.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government would buy 75% of all vaccines from drug makers and distribute them for free to states, which along with private hospitals had earlier been buying shots for people aged 18-45.
India’s previous record of 4.5 million doses was on April 5, followed by a sharp decline with average daily inoculation falling below 3 million.
Experts have said India needs to administer 10 million doses a day to achieve its aim of inoculating 950 million adults by December. So far, India has fully vaccinated fewer than 5% with two doses.
“If supply remains consistent, we will be on course to innoculate most of our population by the end of the year, D N Patil, a senior health official in the country’s richest state of Maharashtra, told Reuters.