New Delhi, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi launched the pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing today. This is the world’s largest vaccination program covering the entire length and breadth of the country. A total of 3006 session sites across all States and UTs were virtually connected during the launch.
The Prime Minister started his speech by paying compliments to the scientists who were associated with the development of the vaccines. He said, usually it takes years to prepare a vaccine but here, in such a short time, not one but two made-in-India vaccine were launched. The Prime Minister cautioned the people to be careful about not missing taking two doses.
He said that there will be a gap of one month between the doses. He asked people to keep their guards up even after taking the vaccine as only two weeks after taking the second dose, human body will develop necessary immunity against Corona.
The Prime Minister put the unprecedented scale of the vaccination drive in perspective by informing that, in the first round itself, 3 crore people, which is more than population of at least 100 countries of the world, are being vaccinated. He said that this needs to be taken up to 30 crores in the second round when elderly and people with serious co-morbidities will be vaccinated. He said that there are only three countries- India, USA and China, who have the population of more than 30 crore.
The Prime Minister asked people not to give heed to rumours and conspiracy theories as Indian vaccine scientists, medical system, Indian process and institutional mechanism in this regard is trusted globally and this trust is earned with a consistent track record.
The Prime Minister congratulated the country for a united and brave fight against corona. He termed the Indian response to corona as one of self-confidence and self-reliance. He noted a determination of not to let the confidence weaken in every Indian.
He dwelled at length on the contribution of doctors, nurses, para medical staff, ambulance drivers, ASHA workers, sanitation workers, police and other frontline workers who endangered their lives to save other. Some of them didn’t even return to their homes as they lost their lives in the fight against the virus, noted a solemn Prime Minister. The frontline warriors brought hope in an environment of despondency and fear, today, by vaccinating them first, country is acknowledging their contribution with gratitude, Modi said.
Recalling the initial days of the crisis, the Prime Minister noted that India showed alertness and took right decisions at the right moments. Two weeks before the first case, which was detected on 30th January 2020, India had formed High-Level Committee. India had started proper surveillance exactly one year ago from today. On 17th January 2020, India issued its first advisory and India was among the first nations to start screening of passengers at the airports.
The Prime Minister congratulated the countrymen to pass the challenge of discipline and patience during the Janata Curfew. He pointed out that the exercise prepared the country psychologically for the lockdown. Morale of the country was kept high with the campaigns like taali-thali and lighting of diya, the Prime Minister added.
Modi also talked about evacuation of Indians stuck abroad. In a time when many countries of the world had left their citizens stranded in China, India evacuated not only the Indians bit citizens of other countries. He recalled sending of entire lab to a country that was finding it difficult to test evacuating Indians.
The Prime Minister said India’s response to the crisis has been acknowledged globally. It was an example of the integrated and unified response from centre, states, local governments, government offices, social bodies who performed efficiently in unison, The Prime Minister concluded.
After the speech Prime Minister tweeted “India begins the world’s Largest Vaccine Drive. This is a day of pride, a celebration of the prowess of our scientists and hard work of our medical fraternity, nursing staff, police personnel and sanitation workers.