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Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the pan-India rollout of the covid-19 vaccination drive in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the pan-India rollout of the covid-19 vaccination drive in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)

PM Modi launches nationwide covid-19 vaccination drive

  • As many as 3 crore people, including medical staff and frontline workers, will be vaccinated in the first round

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the nationwide covid-19 vaccination drive virtually. Terming it as the “world’s largest vaccination programme" covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the government said that a total of 3,006 session sites across all states and Union territories were virtually connected during the launch.

The prime minister said that there are only three countries—India, the US and China—that have a population of more than 30 crore people. “In the first round itself, 3 crore people, which is more than the population of at least 100 countries of the world, are being vaccinated. This needs to be taken up to 30 crore in the second round when the elderly and people with serious co-morbidities will be vaccinated," Modi said.

The prime minister dwelled at length on the contribution of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, ambulance drivers, ASHA workers, sanitation workers, police and other frontline workers who endangered their lives to save others.

The prime minister got emotional while talking about the casualties among doctors and paramedical staff due to covid-19. “Some of them didn’t even return to their homes as they lost their lives in the fight against the virus. The frontline warriors brought hope in an environment of despondency and fear. Today, by vaccinating them first, the country is acknowledging their contribution with gratitude," Modi said.

“Usually, it takes years to prepare a vaccine. But here, in such a short time, not one but two made-in-India vaccines were launched," he said.

The prime minister cautioned the people to be careful about not missing taking two doses of the vaccine. “There will be a gap of around one month between the doses. People should keep their guard up even after taking the vaccine as only two weeks after taking the second dose will the human body develop necessary immunity against the coronavirus," he said.

The prime minister also urged the people not to give heed to rumours and conspiracy theories as Indian vaccine scientists, medical system, process and institutional mechanism in this regard is trusted globally and this trust has been earned thanks to a consistent track record.

After the speech, the prime minister tweeted, “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."

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