PM Narendra Modi got emotional as he went on flagging off India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday flagged off the world’s largest immunization exercise against the COVID-19. In the first phase of the inoculation drive, three crore frontline workers will be administered the vaccine. These frontline workers will be administered either of India’s indigenously developed vaccines Covaxin or Covishield.  

In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi lauded the healthcare experts and scientists saying, “It takes years to prepare vaccines. But in the shortest span of time, we have not only one but two India-made vaccines.”

Prime Minister Modi also said, “There are countries which do not have a population of 3 crore but India in the first phase will inoculate 3 crore healthcare workers. In the next step, we will take this number to 30 crore. There are only three countries in the world with more than 30 crore population: India, the US and China. Hence, this is going to be the biggest vaccination drive.” 

The Prime Minister also urged people to continue taking the COVID-19 guidelines seriously even after they are given the first dose of the vaccine. “I request you not to make the mistake of taking off the mask and not maintaining social distancing after getting the first dose because immunity develops after the second dose,” said Modi.  

The beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccination will need to get two doses of the vaccine with 28 days between the first and the second dose. Reiterating the importance of taking both the doses, Modi said, “I want to remind people of the country that two doses of the Corona vaccine are very important. Experts have said that there should be a gap of one month between both vaccinations.” 

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, this will be the world’s largest vaccination programme due to the length and breadth of the country. The vaccination drive will cover a total of 3,006 sites across India where 100 people will be administered from the two developed vaccines. For PM Modi’s address, all 3,006 sites that are spread across all states and union territories were virtually connected. 

Following the Prime Minister’s address, the first shots will be simultaneously administered to beneficiaries across all the sites in India. The centre claims that if everything happens according to plan, over 30 crore people may be vaccinated by the end of July 2021.  The vaccine shots will be first administered to one crore healthcare workers, two crore frontline workers. After that persons above the age of 50 years will follow suit, followed by persons below the age of 50 who suffer from comorbidities.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation in 2020, over 1.5 crore people have been infected. Among the infected, close to 1.52 lakh people have lost their lives. Currently, Maharashtra and Kerala are two states that are still reporting the most number of daily cases.