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India crossed the 1 billion vaccine doses mark today: Here are the ‘intellectuals’ and ‘experts’ who said it will never happen

So-called 'intellectuals' and 'experts' had told that it will take years and years for India to vaccinate its adult population. Many of them had even openly lobbied for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

India has achieved another momentous feat in its Covid vaccine drive. India crossed the 100 crore vaccinations mark today. With an ambitious vision of vaccinating all of India’s 944 million adults by the year-end, PM Modi had launched the countrywide vaccination programme on January 16. As of now, 75 per cent of the country’s adult population have got at least one dose and 31 per cent have had two.

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the efforts of healthcare professionals and conveyed his gratitude to doctors and nurses as India passed the 100 crore vaccine doses milestone in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

PM Modi took to social media to praise the incredible effort put in by doctors, nurses, and Indian citizens in attaining this historic milestone for the country. He also described the achievement of this milestone as a “triumph of Indian science.”

After the milestone was achieved, Modi paid a visit to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The Prime Minister interacted and congratulated the hospital staff for achieving remarkable feet. Modi was accompanied by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

Many Indian and world leaders have also come up to congratulate India and the government for scripting history.

As India celebrates the ‘Vaccine Century’ today and the success of Indians scientists, it is pertinent to remember how the so-called ‘intellectuals’ the usual naysayers who virtue signal for a living, pontificating on every issue, had tried to dismiss the Indian government’s efforts.

These are the people who on several occasions, led a nefarious online campaign, not only to defame and discredit the Modi government’s vaccination drive but also to create panic and cast aspersions about the efficacy of the ‘Made In India’ Covid vaccines.

Not long ago, author and columnist Chetan Bhagat had suggested that India would achieve its vaccination target only by late 2024. On May 10, while the government was trying to expedite the Covid vaccination process in every nook and corner of the country, Chetan Bhagat had done ‘simple math’ to deduce that India would finish the vaccination target only by the second half of 2024.

Screengrab of Chetan Bhagat’s May 10, 2021 Tweet

In fact, the author had gone a step further to analyse what might be impeding India’s vaccination effort. Too eager to dismiss Made in India vaccines and the efforts of healthcare workers, Bhagat Tweeted as to “what’s likely to happen” and why India would lag behind.

Chetan Bhagat’s Tweet

Bhagat, who was relentless in his push for the very expensive Pfizer vaccine, had declared that India will only get ‘leftovers’ and will have to struggle and beg to get its people vaccinated.

Likewise, the former Prasar Bharati CEO and Trinamool Congress’ appointed member to the Rajya Sabha, Jawhar Sircar, had also undermined India’s vaccination efforts. On May 3, Sircar had Tweeted: “It’s taken 3 months to fully vaccinate 3 crores. Will it take us 100 months (8 years plus!) to vax 100 crore that is critical for India?”

Screengrab of Jawhar Sircar’s Tweet

Taking an obvious dig at the BJP ruled states, The Wire journalist Rohini Singh, another campaigner for the Pfizer vaccine, had also cast aspersions at India’s vaccination efforts.

She had opined that while countries all across the world were reserving vaccines, the state governments are busy in “cow cabinets, special task force for cows, love jihad, etc, because people have voted for cow cabinets. Not vaccines.” As per Rohini, the Indian government was doing nothing to get vaccines for Indians.

Rohini Singh’s Tweet dated Nov 19, 2020

Many other members of the leftist brigade had also come out to discredit the Modi Government’s vaccination drive. ‘Journalist’ Swati Chaturvedi also joined the bandwagon. Hailing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s prophecies declaring India’s doom and gloom, Chaturvedi claimed “it will take years before all Indians are vaccinated.

Image credit: Political Kida

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Tejashwi Yadav, the Congress party and Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP had also jumped on the bandwagon to malign the Modi government’s ambitious vaccination drive.

Image credit: Political Kida
Image credit: Political Kida

Back in August, when India achieved the momentous milestone by administering over 1 crore doses in a single day, the Gandhi scion, took the lead to politicise the country’s vaccination drive. However, in his haste to attack the government over its vaccine programme, Rahul Gandhi has spread widespread falsehoods about the government, instilling vaccine hesitancy among the general public.

Other liberals too eagerly discredited the Modi government’s vaccination drive.

Image credit: Political Kida

Likewise, many media houses, which have often been critical of the Indian government had also doubted India’s vaccination efforts. India Today had almost written off India’s vaccination program saying that at the current pace it would take 12 years to vaccinate the entire population.

Business Today in October predicted India will take 10.8 years to administer both doses to 70 per cent of its population.

First Post published a report on April 25, 2021, in which it said that at the current rate of 2.2mn doses per day, India can only cover 30 per cent population by end-2021.

The report published by First Post dated April 25, 2021

In February, an article in The Hindu suggested that India would reach barely 15% of its July end vaccination target, or 6 crore doses instead of the 40 crore doses. That article was widely mocked when India crossed 40 crore doses in mid-July itself.

SS of the report published by The Hindu

The success of the world’s largest vaccination drive in India and its exemplary efforts to supply vaccines to more than 60 other countries seems to have not gone well with a certain section of western media, who had also mocked and discredited India’s success story.

In a similar attempt to discredit India’s vaccination drive, Amy Kazmin – the Chief of Financial Times’ South Asia bureau, had earlier resorted to weaving conspiracy theories around Prime Minister Modi and had concocted a story saying he might have already been inoculated with a ‘foreign vaccine in secret’ as he did not trust the two Indian made vaccines.

Similarly, BBC had wondered whether India has enough doses of vaccines to inoculate all the adults in the country.

Screengrab of a BBC report

Many other liberal foreign media outlets joined the bandwagon.

Article in Vox

However, regardless of all the propaganda, misinformation, assumptions and aspersions, India has achieved what no other country has achieved so far. India scripted history on Thursday for administering a billion COVID-19 doses. The five states that have administered the highest number of doses are Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.

VK Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog and the head of the government’s vaccine panel, said the achievement of 1 billion doses in just over nine months after the vaccination programme began in India was extraordinary.

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