After a record 8.6 million vaccine doses were administered in India on June 21, 2021, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan claimed that it was the highest single day coverage across the world.
"Congratulations! 86.16 lakh COVID19 vaccine doses administered on Jun 21! Highest ever single day coverage across world!" tweeted Vardhan.
Congratulations 🇮🇳!!— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) June 22, 2021
86.16 lakh #COVID19Vaccine doses administered on Jun 21!💉
Highest ever single day coverage across the🌏!
Under the remarkable leadership of Hon'ble PM Sh @narendramodi Ji, the 'Whole of Govt' & 'Whole of Society' is collectively working to defeat #COVID19 https://t.co/ak1SH9UywY
But Vardhan's claim is false since China had already crossed the 20 million mark on June 4. On June 21, when India's vaccine numbers reached a record-high of 8.6 million, China administered 20.80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses — more than twice as much as India's count, data from Our World in Data showed.
Also, according to an article on Nature, a British weekly scientific journal, China had, on an average, administered over 20 million vaccine doses a day for more than a week.
On an average China has been giving 18.31 million vaccine doses a day since June 1, 2021, whereas India has been administering an average of around 5 million doses. While China has fully vaccinated 16% of its total population, India has managed to vaccinate only 3.7% of its population, data shows. As of June 23, 2021, India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage is 29.46 crore since the beginning of the vaccination drive on January 16 this year, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
FactChecker tried emailing and calling Vardhan for clarification, but we are yet to receive a reply. We will update the story as and when we do.
India crossed the 8-million mark on Day 1 of the Centre's new vaccine policy. While addressing the country on June 7, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that free vaccines would be available to age groups between 18-44 from June 21. According to the new vaccine policy, Modi said the central government would buy 75% of the total manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and private hospitals would be allowed to procure the rest of the 25%.
Among all 37 states and Union territories, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh administered the highest number of vaccines on June 21. Madhya Pradesh administered 16.9 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses. However, on June 20, the previous day, the state saw only 692 vaccinations. The numbers once again plummeted to 4,842 doses on June 22.
Similarly, Karnataka, the state with the second highest number of vaccinations on June 21 and the second highest state with active COVID-19 cases administered 11.21 lakh doses. On June 20, it had administered 68,172 doses and on June 22, the numbers dropped to 3,95,468.
Uttar Pradesh, which stood third on daily vaccine coverage on June 21 with 7,25,898 doses, had the count at 8,800 on June 20 and managed to increase it to 8,21,166 on June 22. Overall, India witnessed a 40% drop in vaccine doses on June 22 compared to the previous day.