‘Covid-19 vaccine a shield, but can’t let our guard down': PM Modi on 1 billion doses
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday equated vaccination against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to a “shield,” as he warned citizens not to let their guard down even though the country has crossed the milestone of administering more than 1 billion or 100 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The PM's remark came as he addressed the nation to mark the occasion, a day after the nationwide cumulative vaccination coverage crossed the 1 billion-mark.
“Regardless of how good or modern the shield is, and even if it guarantees cent per cent protection, we can't let our guard down till the war (against Covid-19) is going on. Hence, I request all of you to celebrate the festivals with utmost care,” PM Modi said in his national address, which began shortly after 10am. “We have to make wearing masks a habit, in the same way as we put on shoes when we go out,” he added.
In a message to people who are yet to get vaccinated, Prime Minister Modi urged them to make their inoculation a “top priority”. Those who have taken their jabs should encourage others to do so as well, he further said. “I have full confidence that if all of us work together, we will be able to defeat the virus at the earliest,” PM Modi said.
The nationwide vaccination drive began on January 16, and, after a little over nine months, the nation surpassed the 1 billion dose-milestone, which includes both single and fully (double) jabbed beneficiaries. Nearly 1.6 billion doses have been administered thus far, including more than 6.1 million on October 21, according to the Union health ministry's dashboard.
Currently, only those aged 18 and above are eligible for vaccination. The government aims to fully inoculate all 944 million adults by the year-end.