Image of a new India: PM Modi hails 100 crore vaccination landmark

The fight is not over, the Prime Minister said, adding that people must keep taking precautions, especially during the festive season
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, October 22, hailed India's COVID-19 vaccination drive and said that it was a reflection of the country’s capabilities and a page in the history of a 'new India'. He was addressing the nation, a day after India successfully administered 100 crore vaccines to its citizens. “My dear countrymen, I want to start my speech by saying that yesterday, October 21, India has completed the difficult but unusual goal of completing 1 billion doses. I would like to congratulate everyone. 100 crore vaccine doses is not just a number, it is the reflection of our country’s capabilities, a page in the history of new India, a picture of the new India which works hard to reach its goals,” the Prime Minister said. 

Pointing out that many were comparing the vaccination progress of India with other countries abroad, he said,  “What is often left out in this, is where we began. For other big countries, they have expertise in creating and manufacturing vaccines. We used to import. So when this pandemic came, questions were raised against India — will they get vaccines? What will it cost? Can India vaccinate so many people? Many types of questions were asked. But today, these 100 crore vaccine doses are answering all such questions. India has given 100 crore doses, that too for free! Now countries will view India as safer from COVID-19.” 

The Prime Minister also added that there was no ‘VIP culture’ in the administration of vaccines. “For us, democracy means taking everyone together. We started a free vaccine programme. We also ensured that there is no ‘VIP culture’ when it comes to vaccinations in India. We ensured even VIPs got vaccines at the same level as the common people,” PM Modi said. 

Hailing the efforts of the health workers and the scientists, PM Modi said that though the 100 crore vaccinations are a boost of confidence and a ray of hope, people must continue to take precautions, especially ahead of the festive season. 

“Last Diwali, there was pressure and stress in people’s minds. But this Diwali, after 100 crore vaccinations, there is a sense of relief in people’s minds. Completing 100 crore vaccine doses gives us confidence but it is also time to take caution. No matter how great the shield and no matter the proper guarantee, as long as the battle is on, you cannot give up your arms. We should celebrate festivals with all precautions. The design world has also entered the mask industry. You must treat masks like a piece of your attire, just like you wear shoes while going out,” PM Modi said. He also urged people to buy Made-in-India products during the festive season and asked them to be "vocal for local."

The Prime Minister also asked people who have not been vaccinated, to get vaccinated. “That should be your priority. Those who are vaccinated should encourage others to get vaccinated,” he said. 

India took 279 days to administer 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to Union Health Ministry data. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.

Till date, around seventy-one per cent of the country's adult population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 27 per cent have got both doses, the government recently announced. India plans to vaccinate its adult population completely by December 2021. 

The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 years from April 1. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing all above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1. 

With PTI inputs

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