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PM Modi launches India's coronavirus vaccine drive, first shot administered


The long battle against coronavirus starts to see an end as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched vaccination drive at 10.30 am via video conference.

A total of 3,006 vaccination centres across all states and union territories will be virtually connected and with 100 beneficiaries getting the shots at each site on the first day.

"Everyone was asking as to when the vaccine will be available. It is available now. I congratulate all the countrymen on this occasion," said PM Modi.

The world's biggest vaccination drive was kickstarted shortly after PM Modi's speech with the jab being administered to a health worker in Delhi AIIMS.

He added that bad times for corona have begun, we have two made-in-India vaccines now.

Want to remind people of the country that two doses of the Corona vaccine are very important, he explained citing experts.

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 Narendra Modi warned.

The gap between two shots should be one month.

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 Modi said.

The immunisation drive will begin with healthcare workers, both in government and private sectors, getting the shots. 

CoWIN, short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, is an online platform meant to facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccine. 

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

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday termed the country's vaccination drive as the "beginning of the end of Covid-19." He also urged people to trust the indigenously manufactured vaccine, saying the government has given emergency use approval after proper scientific scrutiny.

India's COVID-19 caseload climbed to 1,05,42,841 on Saturday with 15,158 more people testing positive for the disease while recoveries surged to 1,01,79,715, according to the Union health ministry data.

The country's death toll increased to 1,52,093 with 175 more fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The country's active caseload remained below 3 lakh on Saturday.

(With agencies inputs)