PM Modi launches vaccination drive, more than 20 crore people to be covered by second phase
New Delhi, Jan 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched India's vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus. A record 3 lakh healthcare workers across the country are scheduled to get vaccinated on the first day across 3,006 vaccination sites.
"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," PM Modi said.
"Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 crore population & India is administering vaccination to 3 crore people in first phase only. In second phase, we've to take this number to 30 crores," PM added.
PM Modi further went on to say that this disease kept people away from their families. "The mothers cried for their children and had to stay away. People could not meet their elderly admitted at hospitals. We could not bid adieu to those with proper rituals who died due to COVID," PM Modi said.
Meanwhile, the Centre has issued guidelines to states and Union Territories. It said vaccination is allowed only for those who are above the age of 18 years. Women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy and lactating mothers should not receive the jibe.
On Saturday, India registered 15,158 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,05,42,841. The country's toll rose by 175 to 1,52,093. India's active cases stood at 2,11,033, while the number of recoveries reached 1,01,79,715.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more 9.37 crore people and killed 20.06 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. More than 5.16 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.