New Delhi: As India crossed the landmark 1 Billion vaccinations on October 21, Twitter and other social media websites brimmed with celebratory posts congratulating the Prime Minister and health care workers for the massive feat. Power and renewable energy Minister RK Singh was among those who posted a message on their twitter handle lauding the achievement, where he claimed that India was the first nation globally to have completed 1 billion vaccinations so far. Newschecker has found this claim to be misleading.
The Minister later deleted the tweet. However, an archived copy of the tweet can be found here.
The tweet had gathered over 3,000 views, 66 retweets and close to 250 likes before it was deleted late afternoon on October 22. Several others including prominent television anchor Anjana Om Kashyap also tweeted, claiming that India was the 1st country to achieve this feat.
Karnataka BJP leader CT Ravi and several others also took to Twitter with similar claim.
Online reports and data available in public domain suggesting that China was the first country to cross 1 billion vaccinations. On September 16, China announced that it had fully vaccinated over 1 billion people covering 72% of its 1.4 billion population. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, this figure has risen to 75% now.
While India achieved the 1 billion milestone in terms of total vaccinations on Thursday, the percentage of adult population that are fully vaccinated continues to be less than 30 percent. Data from health ministry show that 713 million people have been administered their 1st dose of COVID vaccinations in the country, whereas only around 299 million people have received their 2nd dose, ie, around 30% of India’s eligible population is fully vaccinated and 74% of its eligible population received the 1st dose.
It must also be noted that the administration of vaccines has not been consistent in terms of its pace and has seen several sharp spikes and deep plunges. For instance, 20 million vaccines were administered on September 17, the Prime Minister’s birthday. But the vaccination rates in the days leading up to the occasion were slow. (Read further here and here)
On a global scale, 36.3% of adult population across the world is fully vaccinated. United Arab Emirates has fully vaccinated 87.26% of its adult population, leading the list of countries that vaccinated most citizen. Looking at other countries, the US has fully vaccinated approximately 58% of its population, while the UK and France have fully vaccinated 67% of its eligible population. Russia and Japan have inoculated about 33% and 67% of its people.
Thus, India is the second country to reach the 1 billion vaccinations milestone. The claim that India is the first country to fulfill 1 billion vaccinations is misleading.