India gives out record 5 million with free Covid shots in a day

NEW DELHI India gave out a record five million vaccine doses yesterday under a federal campaign to inoculate all adults for free after weeks of criticism that a chaotic roll-out had worsened a second wave that killed hundreds of thousands.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government would buy 75 per cent of vaccines from drug makers and give them free to states.

"It marks the beginning of the end of adversities related to Covid-19 in the country," said Professor Giridhara Babu, a member of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country's main health research agency.

Experts have warned of a potential third wave as only about 5 per cent of all 950 million eligible people are fully inoculated with two doses.

Over the last 24 hours, India reported 53,256 cases, the lowest since March 24.

With an overall case load of 29.9 million, India ranks second-highest globally behind the United States. - REUTERS