India's far-reaching effort to vaccinate its vast population against Covid-19 hit another milestone on Friday: Its health ministry said that a record 25 million shots had been administered over the course of the day, a special push to mark the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and celebrate his 20 years in public office.
That is more than two and a half times its previous daily record - 9.3 million shots, reached on Sept. 2 - and more than seven times the level reported three months ago, according to the Our World in Data Project at Oxford University.
India has administered over 793 million vaccine shots through a drive that had major setbacks in its early stages - although inoculating a population of 1.4 billion people, spread from the Himalayas to the coasts, was always going to be a challenge.
With a total of more than 33 million total cases during the pandemic, its reported caseload is second only to that of the United States, and India was the third country to top 400,000 deaths.
On Friday, the eastern state of Bihar, which is home to an estimated 127 million people and is one of the poorest regions in the country, gave 2.9 million shots, more than any other state, according to a government database.
China, the only other country with a population of more than a billion people, has already far surpassed that number, reporting 2.16 billion shots, according to Our World in Data.