World’s Largest Vaccine Drive Set to Begin in India


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded the efforts of the Indian scientists involved in developing the vaccine for Covid-19, and said India is soon going to start the largest vaccination programme in the world.

Modi made the remarks after inaugurating the National Metrology Conclave virtually and also dedicated the National Atomic Timescale and Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya to the nation.

He also laid the foundation stone for the National Environmental Standards Lab.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, “The new year has brought with it a new achievement. Indian scientists have not developed just one, but two Covid vaccines.”

He said, “We are on the threshold of starting the ‘largest vaccination programme in the world’. The entire country is indebted to all scientists and technicians,” he said.

The Prime Minister also urged the scientists of CSIR to discuss and converse with the students of the educational institutions in the entire country and share their experiences with the next generation.

“This would help in developing the next generation of young scientists,” he said.

The Prime Minister further said the quality of services and products in our country, both in the public or private sector, will determine India’s strength in the world.

“No research is complete with comparing and calculating. We also need to calculate our achievements as well,” he said.

He said, “We have to ensure that there is not only global demand but also global acceptance of ‘Make in India’ products. We have to strengthen brand India on the basis of quality and credibility.”

On Sunday, the Central Licensing Authority granted permission to Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech to manufacture ‘Covaxin’ for sale and distribution, after the indigenous coronavirus vaccine received regulatory approval for emergency use.

On Sunday, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) V.G. Somani announced that Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ has been approved for “restricted use in emergency situation”.

The approval has also been given to Serum Institute of India’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine.

The Centre plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive. The vaccine will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities.

Covid Cases Drop

India on Monday recorded 16,504 fresh cases, while 214 more people succumbed to the virus in 24 hours, pushing the overall tally to 1,03,40,469 and toll to 1,49,649 since the outbreak in January, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

This is the third time that daily count has remained within the 16,000 bracket after June 23 and December 28.

The total active cases in the country is 2,43,953. The total recovery stands at 99,46,867.

While the fatality rate stands at 1.45 as per cent, the recovery rate stands at 96.16 per cent.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state till date. The maximum mnumber of cases are from Kerala, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh among others.

Five states — Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh contribute 62 per cent of the total active cases.

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