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US Lawmakers Say India’s Success Will Help World Defeat COVID-19 As It Achieves 1 Billion Jabs Milestone

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Top US lawmakers have congratulated India after the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore milestone, saying India's success will help the world defeat the deadly pandemic.

India scripted history on Thursday with the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassing the 100-crore milestone.

Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday said: "Congratulations to India on reaching this important milestone in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic".

"As a global leader in pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing, India's success will help the world defeat this pandemic," he said.

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"Great to see that India has reached 1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccination. What an achievement!" Senator Steve Daines from Montana said.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly said India has now administered more than one billion doses of the lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine.

"This is a promising milestone. Vaccination rates across the world are an important factor in our global recovery from this pandemic," she said.

"Truly wonderful news out of India. We must all do our part to end the spread of Covid-19 everywhere, as it remains a threat to our lives and livelihoods as long as it persists anywhere. We are in this together," the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweeted.

The New York Times said the billion-dose milestone represented a turnaround in a vaccination drive that got off to a slow start, as India's governing party prioritised elections and took up a lax attitude in tackling the virus, continuing to hold crowded political rallies and allowing religious festivals to take place even as cases surged.

India took 279 days to administer 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to official data. India also launched 'Vaccine Maitri', a humanitarian initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world. The government started providing vaccines from January 20.

India has so far delivered around 66.3 million doses of vaccines to 95 countries, including Canada, the UK, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Nepal, South Africa, Ukraine and Bahrain.

The pandemic has infected more than 242,598,000 people across the globe and claimed the lives of over 4,931,800 people, according to Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.

Story first published: Saturday, October 23, 2021, 11:49 [IST]