New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination programme in India and said that the country will administer the vaccine to 3 crore people in first phase and hopes to take the numbers to 30 crore in the second phase.
Addressing the nation ahead of the launch, PM Modi said a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history.
“There are over 100 countries with less than 3 crore population and India is administering vaccination to 3 crore people in the first phase only. In the second phase, we will increase this number to 30 crores,” he added.
During the launch, the Prime Minister congratulated the citizens and said “Everyone was asking as to when the vaccine will be available. It is available now. I congratulate all the countrymen on this occasion.”
PM Modi also lauded the efforts of the scientific community who were involved in the vaccine research.
“Normally, it takes many years to make a vaccine but in such a short span of time, not one, but two ‘Made in India’ vaccines are ready. Meanwhile, the work on other vaccines is progressing at a fast pace,” he said.
The Prime Minister further said that, “Start of vaccination does not mean people should stop following the COVID-19 protocols of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. We must take another vow – Dawai bhi, Kadaai bhi.”
PM Modi also got emotional while talking about the hardships faced by healthcare and frontline workers during the COVID pandemic.
“This disease kept people away from their families. The mothers cried for their children & had to stay away. People could not meet their elderly admitted at hospitals. We could not bid adieu to those with proper rituals who died due to corona,” he said.
The Prime Minister after his speech took to Twitter and wrote, “India begins the world’s #LargestVaccineDrive. This is a day of pride, a celebration of the prowess of our scientists and hardwork of our medical fraternity, nursing staff, police personnel and sanitation workers. May everyone be healthy and free from illness.”
India begins the world’s #LargestVaccineDrive. This is a day of pride, a celebration of the prowess of our scientists and hardwork of our medical fraternity, nursing staff, police personnel and sanitation workers.
May everyone be healthy and free from illness. pic.twitter.com/AEpMMEAyzR
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 16, 2021
Apart from this, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan also joins doctors and potential vaccine beneficiaries at AIIMS with Delhi participates in the launch of the world’s largest vaccine drive kicked off today.
A total of 3,006 vaccination centers across all states and union territories was virtually connected during the launch. About 100 beneficiaries will get the shots at each site on the first day, the Union Health Ministry said.
In the first phase, the government and private-sector health care workers, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine, it added.