Jun 22, 2021 - Health

India administers 8.6 million COVID-19 vaccines in a day

Beneficiaries receive COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination drive at BPK Sahakari Vidya Mandir, on June 21, 2021 in Mumbai, India.

Beneficiaries receive COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination drive on June 21, 2021 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India administered 8.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines Monday, setting a national record, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Monday's total comes amid a slow initial roll-out of coronavirus vaccines in India, delayed by vaccine shortages and disagreement between the states and central government, per the NYT.

  • Less than 20% of people have received at least one dose of the vaccine and less than 5% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Driving the news: Monday was also the first day of a new policy in India that offered free vaccines for all adults and gave the federal government a bigger role in procuring vaccines.

  • Vaccines manufactured by two companies — the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech — are driving the country's vaccination efforts. Both companies have said that they seek to deliver about 1.3 billion doses from August to the end of the year, per the NYT.
  • Monday's vaccination total was the most shots given in a single day in any country besides China.

Yes, but: Monday's vaccination record was likely temporary as the current supply of vaccines in the country suggests it is unlikely that the country could sustain the current pace.

The big picture: India experienced one of the most devastating outbreaks of COVID-19.

  • About 390,000 people have died of coronavirus in India, and experts say that is a significant undercount, per NYT.
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