Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced Monday that India has successfully administered over 75 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses since the launch of the nationwide drive in January 2021. 43% of the country's total population is expected to be covered by December. 

Mandaviya today connected India’s celebration of 75 years of its Independence -- Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav ("The great immortal celebration of freedom") with the "milestone" of 75 crore doses.

Also Read | Gujarat nurse to get Florence Nightingale Award for service during COVID

"Congratulations India! With PM Narendra Modi's 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' mantra, the world's biggest vaccination campaign has been relentlessly creating new dimensions. #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav, in the 75th year of independence, the country has crossed 75 crore doses of vaccination," Mr Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi.

According to experts, it is essential to double vaccinate at least 60% of the population by the end of 2021 to stop a third wave of the pandemic

“The rate of inoculation managed by India over the past seven days was 7.7 million a day, leaving a shortfall of 4.3 million doses,” according to data released by the Union government. In the last 24 hours, India administered 5.3 million doses. The first case of COVID in India was reported on January 30, 2020. 

India recorded its first Covid case on January 30 last year. As per the COVID tally, more than 3.3 crore people have already been infected, with over 4.4 lakh dying from the disease. The nationwide COVID vaccination programme was launched by PM Modi in January 2021. Deployment of Covaxin and Covishield happened at the start of the drive, with that of others following suit. 

However, India was swept away by the second wave of the pandemic in April-May, leading to a dramatic surge in the death toll of the country. Things in recent months have eased up. However, possibility of the third wave still lingers.