On January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched one of the world’s largest vaccination drive. Along with this, he paid tribute to Indian frontline workers and scientists. Apart from this, he advised against falling for propaganda or rumours over vaccines. Also, Modi advised that even after vaccination, citizens must stay watchful and continue all precautions against the virus, including masks and distancing. Talking about India’s drive, it is one of the world’s biggest vaccination programmes. To begin with, the drive is aimed at immunizing 3 crore health and other frontline workers. For the time being, two shots are being injected. One vaccine has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and the other one by Bharat Biotech.
Amid controversy over Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Modi emphasised that people should not fall for propaganda over vaccines. While still in clinical trial, Covaxin has been cleared for emergency use. He stated that the DGCI (Drug Controller General of India) gave permission after they were content with the data of the two vaccines. Further, he stated that our vaccine developers have a global credibility. Moreover, he said that in India, life-saving vaccines provided to 60% children worldwide are made. PM stated that Indian vaccines were economical compared to the other international vaccines, which mandated severe conditions for storage.
He also spoke of heart-rending moments last year when a number of people could not even perform last rites for their loved ones and virus-infected people were isolated from their families. On the first day of the drive, more than 3 lakh healthcare workers are set to be inoculated.