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‘Dawai bhi, Kadaai bhi’ is the new mantra, says PM Modi while flagging off world’s largest vaccination program against Covid-19

"I would like to remind you again that it is very important to have two doses of corona vaccine. Between the first and second doses, a gap of about one month will be kept. Only 2 weeks after the second dose, your body will develop the necessary strength against the virus,” reiterated the PM.

India is all set to fight the Wuhan coronavirus pathogen which has left 1,52,000 people in India and more than 2 million people worldwide dead. An emotional PM Modi Saturday flagged-off the first phase of the pan-India rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the world’s largest inoculation exercise against the novel coronavirus on January 16 at 10.30 a.m.

In the first phase of the vaccination drive, around 3 crore frontline workers including doctors, healthcare workers, Safai Karamcharis etc will be given the vaccine. After that, people above 50 years of age, and people below 50 with co-morbidities, estimated around 27 crore, will be selected for vaccination. Therefore, around 30 crore people will be vaccinated in this round.

On this historic day, PM Modi, while virtually launching the vaccination drive said that for so many months everyone has been asking when the vaccine will come and now it is here. Minutes from now, the world’s largest vaccination drive will begin. Congratulating everyone, especially the scientists who are involved in the process, the Prime Minister said: “They have worked relentlessly. The process of developing a vaccine takes years, but in such a short time we have been given two Made-in-India vaccines.”

The world has immense faith in India’s scientists and capacity of vaccine production. We have got two vaccines in such a short time, this was proof of India’s scientific ability and talent, he said.

“India’s vaccination programme is based on humane protocol since the most vulnerable are getting the vaccination first. Our doctors, nurses, paramedic and cleaning staff have the first claim to this vaccine”, said PM Modi, adding that in the next phase, people involved in essential services like police, fire personnel etc., will be vaccinated and the Govt would bear the complete cost.

“Our corona warriors remained away from homes for days, in the call of duty. By reserving the first vaccines for these people, the society is expressing its gratefulness”.

He stressed upon the importance of taking both doses of the vaccine. “I would like to remind you again that it is very important to have two doses of corona vaccine. Between the first and second doses, a gap of about one month will be kept. Only 2 weeks after the second dose, your body will develop the necessary strength against the virus,” reiterated the PM.

The Prime Minister proudly said that a vaccination campaign as large as this one has never before been run in history. There are more than 100 countries in the world whose population is less than 30 million. And India is vaccinating 30 million people in its first phase of vaccination.

He urged people not to fall prey to rumours and myths regarding the vaccines. “The DGCI gave approval after they were satisfied with the data of the two vaccines. India goes through strict scientific processes. So stay away from rumours. Our vaccine developers have global credibility. Life-saving vaccines given to 60% of children globally are made in India,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the vaccines approved by the government were much cheaper than alternatives being used in the west, referring to the shots developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. He said those vaccines would cost around Rs 5,000 to vaccinate a person and would need to be stored at temperatures around -70 degree Celsius, making the logistics tougher.

India’s vaccine is built on technology that is tried and tested in India. These vaccines adapt to Indian conditions and conditions from storage to transportation. This vaccine will give India a decisive victory in the fight against Corona, furthered the PM.

Showing immense confidence in the nation PM Modi said that mo matter how big the crisis is, the people of the country never lost confidence. When the Wuhan Coronavirus reached India, there was only one lab of Corona testing in the country, we believed in our strength and today we have more than 2,300 networks, said the proud Prime Minister which virtually addressing the nation on this historic day.

On January 30, the first case of corona was found in India, but less than two weeks before that India had formed a high level committee. India kept vigil 24X7 hours, watching every event, and taking the right decisions at the right time. January 17, 2020 was the date when India released its first advisory. India was among the first countries in the world to start screening passengers at its airports. The Janata curfew was also a test of the restraint and discipline of our society against the Corona outbreak, in which every countryman succeeded. The Janata curfew prepared the country psychologically for lockdown.

At a time when some countries had mercilessly left their citizens in midst of rising cases of COVID-19 in China, India brought back every Indian trapped in China. And not only people of India, we also brought back citizens of many other countries stuck there. Today the whole world has not ony accepted but also lauded the way India has dealt with this epidemic. India also put forward the example of how central and state governments, local bodies, every government institution, social institutions can work in unison.

India has shown how everyone from DRDO, ISRO and the military to farmers and laborers can work together with firm resolution.

This vaccination campaign will go on for a long time and we have got a chance to contribute in saving the lives of the people, worldwide.

PM Modi warned that people should not become complacent during and after the vaccination. He reiterated the mantra- “Do Gaj Doori, Mask hai Jaruri’, stressing it is very important to wear masks and maintain the distance of two-yards that promotes social distancing, which is a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19. Along with this, PM Modi, today requested the citizens to take another pledge- ‘Dawai bhi, Kadaai bhi’ and wished best of health to all the citizens in the televised address before the vaccine rollout.

Billed as the world’s largest vaccination program, covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the drive aims to first inoculate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase. A total of 3006 session sites across all states and union territories have been virtually connected during the launch today.

The drive will be held daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except on the days earmarked for routine immunisation programmes.

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