Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that 100 crore vaccine doses is answer to the critics who doubted about India's COVID-19 vaccination programme. In his address to the nation day after India accomplished the target of administering 100 jabs, he said that everyone is comparing India to other countries but "remember India's starting point was different".
"The other countries have always participated in medicine and vaccination for a long time and everyone questioned whether India will be able to do the needful. 100 crore vaccine jabs is an answer to all the questions," the Prime Minister said.
"India's vaccine campaign is a living example of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas," he mentioned while highlighting the government's objective to pass the benefits of policies to the last person.
He said that people said "how taali thalli (clapping and clanging utensils to honour frontline health workers) will help eradicate the virus. But it was a reflection of people's participation and capacity". He said that Covid does not discriminate between rich and poor and that the country's vaccination drive is also based on no discrimination.
'Ensured no VIP culture'
"We ensured that VIP culture does not overshadow our vaccination program and everyone is treated equally," he said, adding that there is optimism everywhere and that experts, world agencies are very positive about Indian economy.
He also sought to caution against negligence in fight against Covid, saying "strong shield, arms are not laid as long as war is on".
Earlier on Thursday, the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore milestone. In a tweet, PM Modi congratulated the country on achieving the feat, and said it was the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians.
According to the government data, around 75 per cent of India's all eligible adult population has been administered at least the first dose and around 31 per cent has received both the doses of the vaccine.
India took 85 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach the 30-crore mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The country took 24 days to reach the 40-crore mark from 30-crore doses and then 20 more days to surpass the 50-crore vaccination mark on August 6.It then took 76 days to go past the 100-crore mark.
The top five states which have administered the highest number of doses are Uttar Pradesh followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with health care workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 years from April 1. The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing all above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.