The Union health ministry announced on Sunday that India’s vaccination drive has reached a new milestone, with 50% of the eligible population now fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to provisional reports issued by the ministry of health and family welfare on Sunday morning, the country’s vaccination coverage has surpassed 127.61 crores.

“It is a moment of great pride as over 50% of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated,” Union health minister Mansukh Mandviya wrote on Twitter. “We will win the battle against COVID-19 together.”

India has reached the latest milestone with 1,04,18,707 COVID-19 vaccine shots administered in the last 24 hours, for a total of 1,32,44,514 sessions. 

In a statement, the health ministry stated that the government is committed to speeding up and broadening the scope of vaccination across the country.

“The vaccination drive has been ramped up through availability of more vaccines, advance visibility of vaccine availability to States and UTs for enabling better planning by them, and streamlining the vaccine supply chain,” it added.

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The Covishield vaccine, a version of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, was used to start the nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16. After the second wave of the COVID pandemic claimed thousands of lives and disrupted the country’s health infrastructure, the coverage entered a new phase of universalisation in June. 

The vaccination milestone has come at a time when many countries, including India, have been reporting cases of the Omicron variant, which was first discovered in South Africa. According to Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, the omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected for the first time in the National Capital. The patient had recently returned from Tanzania and was admitted to LNJP Hospital. Apart from the new case in Delhi, India has discovered a total of five Omicron cases: one in Maharashtra, one in Gujarat, and two in Karnataka.