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 vaccines 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, the 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 the 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 a 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, paramedical staff, ambulance drivers, ASHA workers, sanitation workers, police and other frontline workers who endangered their lives to save others. 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, the country is acknowledging their contribution with gratitude, Modi said.

After the speech, 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.

May everyone be healthy and free from illness.” With the Vedic prayer of universal health, happiness and freedom from sorrow