Health workers wait in line to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India on January 16. Fariha Farooqui / Xinhua / Getty Images

More than 200,000 people were vaccinated against coronavirus on the first day of India’s nationwide vaccination campaign on Saturday, the country’s health ministry said in a press release on Sunday.

According to the ministry, the total number is “much higher than many other countries such as the US, UK and France”.

As of Sunday, India had vaccinated a total of 224,301 people. To date, 447 post-immunization adverse events have been reported, of which three patients have been hospitalized.

“There are protocols for reporting, immediate case management at the site of the vaccination session, transportation and hospitalization, and further treatment of such cases,” the press release added.

Indian Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Sunday congratulated the states on a successful introduction of vaccines.

“Our prime minister has been in constant contact with the heads of state … we have a common timetable and plan that we all work by … we have to stick to the plan to achieve our goals,” said Vardhan.

India reported more than 10.5 million Covid-19 cases on Monday, including 152,419 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

A context: India launches one of the most ambitious mass vaccination programs in the world ever carried out. The 1.35 billion country plans to vaccinate 300 million frontline workers, the elderly and vulnerable by August.

Earlier this month, Indian drug regulators kicked off two coronavirus vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other designed by Bharat Biotech and a local government-run institute.

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