More people will turn up to get vaccinated, says defence minister Rajnath Singh
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday more people will come forward to get inoculated after seeing the results of the Covid-19 vaccination programme on the first day, launched earlier in the day. The Union minister also praised frontline workers for their efforts in the battle against the coronavirus disease. “Had it not been for doctors and paramedical staff, who we call Corona Warriors, we would not have been able to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we consider physicians as the second God on earth,” he added.
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Singh said India will soon begin the export of indigenously-developed Covid-19 vaccines. “We will export the vaccines to other countries also as India believes in 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family),” he said after laying the foundation stone of a new Central Command Hospital in Lucknow.
Singh visited the King George Medical University and Balram Hospital in Lucknow where the immunisation drive was underway and greeted frontline workers involved in the campaign.
Earlier in the day, the Union minister lauded the country's scientists and Prime Minister Modi for their determination in the development and inoculation process of the vaccine. "Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken decisive steps towards conquering the corona crisis by launching the biggest vaccination campaign not only in India but the whole world. In the first phase, it has been resolved to bring the vaccine to three crore people," Singh wrote on Twitter.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India as Covishield, and indigenously-developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for the world’s largest inoculation drive.
In the first phase of the inoculation drive launched this morning, nearly 30 million health staff and frontline workers will be vaccinated while in the second phase about 270 million people older than 50 or deemed high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions, will get the shot.