India touched the 100 crore Covid-19 vaccine milestone even as daily cases spiked to 18,454 on Thursday. China reached the one billion mark in June.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and interacted with hospital officials. Saying that India scripted history, PM Modi tweeted, "We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat."
The top five states that have administered the highest number of vaccine doses are Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Dr VK Paul of NITI Aayog said it was remarkable to reach the 100 crore dose mark for any nation "in just over nine months since the vaccination programme started in India".
In a tweet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya congratulated the country on achieving the feat, and said it was the result of the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi.
Congratulating India on achieving the milestone, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO South-East Asia, said, "This extraordinary feat in a short span was not possible without strong political leadership, intersectoral convergence, dedicated efforts of the entire health and frontline workforce and the people themselves."
Around 75 per cent of India's all eligible adult population has been administered at least the first dose and around 31 per cent has received both the doses of the vaccine.
To mark the milestone of the Covid-19 vaccination exercise, a series of events have been lined up. Mandaviya will launch a song by singer Kailash Kher and an audio-visual film at the Red Fort. The largest khadi tricolour in the country, weighing around 1,400 kg, will be displayed at the Red Fort, PTI reported.
According to Union Health Ministry data, India took 86 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach the 30-crore mark.
The country took 24 days to reach the 40-crore mark from 30-crore doses and then 20 more days to surpass the 50-crore vaccination mark on August 6. It then took 76 more days to go past the 100-crore mark.
The government rolled out the Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. From March 1, people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with co-morbid conditions were allowed to get vaccinated. The government expanded its vaccination drive by allowing all above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.