New Delhi (NVI): As India marches ahead in the vaccination drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the Covid beneficiaries and those involved in the vaccination drive in Varanasi today and asserted that the two vaccines are completely safe, amid the hesitancy seen in the country to take the jabs.
While speaking at the event via video conferencing, he said, “Earlier, there was pressure on me about when the vaccine will come. I said that it is not political people to decide on it and the decision rests with scientists. The vaccines have now come out after thorough research by our scientists.”
PM Modi expressed pride over the development of two vaccines in the country to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. He also talked to health workers who took the jab and asked for their feedback.
During the interaction, he congratulated various hospitals and their staff for successful administration of vaccination drive.
“The biggest vaccination programme in the world is going on in our country. Today, the nation has the will power to manufacture its own vaccine – not one but two Made in India vaccines. Vaccines are reaching every corner of the country. India is absolutely self-reliant in this regard,” Modi said.
The PM also noted that the country was providing COVID-19 vaccine to several countries as well. “India is also helping several countries,” he said.
“The medical infrastructure in Varanasi and nearby areas has been improved over the past six years since he was elected from here,” the PM added.
He stated that as per the plan, 20,000 healthcare professionals will be given the vaccine at 15 vaccination centres in Varanasi in the first phase.
Prior to and post the launch of the vaccination programme on January 16, the PM has been holding dialogue and discussion with scientists, politicians, officials and other stakeholders. He has been taking an active part in a bid to ensure the smooth conduct of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, which is the largest in the world.
As part of the vaccination drive, the Indian government is aiming to inoculate at least 3 crore people, including healthcare and frontline workers.
In Varanasi, vaccines are being administered at six centres. The first vaccine jab was administered at the Sir Sunderlal Hospital of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to a sanitary worker named Rashid Khan.
It may be recalled that India’s drug regulator, DCGI, has given restricted emergency use approval to two vaccines – Covishied, developed by the Oxford University and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, which has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech.