COVID -19: India rolls out world’s largest vaccination program

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the COVID-19 vaccination drive today at 10:30 AM via video conferencing. This is the world’s largest vaccination program covering entire length and breadth of the country. Manish Kumar, a 34-year-old sanitation worker at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), became the first person in India to be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare interacted with the Health Ministers and Principal Secretaries/ Additional Chief Secretaries of the States and Union Territories to review the vaccination drive through a video conference.

At the outset, Dr. Harsh Vardhan thanked his state counterparts for their commitment and personal indulgence in leading the vaccination drive. The Union Minister congratulated the health ministers on the successful launch of world’s largest vaccination drive. He said, “Today is a very important day for us. The vaccination drive, for which preparations were being done from the last five months under the unwavering and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Modi  has finally started. We have got encouraging and satisfactory feedback results on the first day. This indicates that we are moving towards victory in the fight against Coronavirus.”

Restating his appreciation and support to the tireless work of the healthcare and frontline workers who are working on the ground, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “India has achieved significant progress on the COVID containment front. The co-operation of scientists, researchers, doctors and all the citizens who have volunteered for the clinical trial have ensured that we have two vaccines ready for administration in a span of 10 months.”

The Health Minister highlighted the preparation preceding the actual vaccination events.  “The dry run exercises which included the training sessions for vaccinators, allocation of session sites, detailed training module etc., have led to success of this day. This vaccine will indeed be a Sanjeevani against the corona fight.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan requested the Health Ministers to be vigilant against rumours and disinformation campaigns regarding the safety of the COVID19 vaccine. He negated the rumours being spread on social media which are raising doubts in the mind of the public regarding the vaccine side-effects. He urged the State counterparts to counter and make effective strategy to counter the myths and misinformation and use all communication channels to disseminate the right information.

Reiterating Prime Minister’s call of Dawai bhi, Kadai bhi. Dr. Vardhan said, “The vaccine strengthens our attempt to fight the virus.”

The State Health ministers and Secretaries apprised the Union Health Minister on the progress and the target achieved on the first day of the vaccination. They also shared that the minor technical glitches on the software such as uploading the details of beneficiaries were noted during the vaccination. The Minister was informed that people showed appreciation and confidence in the vaccine throughout the country.

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