Keep your shields up, wear a mask when you step out: PM Modi lauds 100 cr vaccine 'super achievement' in address to nation

While the PM spoke mostly about the vaccination and how India has achieved it by coming together, he also spoke about the economy and farmers
PM Narendra Modi (Pic: PTI)
PM Narendra Modi (Pic: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation via a video conference on October 22, ahead of Diwali, and urged the nation to stay safe while celebrating the festivities. "No matter how good your kavachch (shield/talisman) is you should not put down your weapons till the war is over," said the PM and added that Indians should make it a habit to wear masks just like they slip on a shoe when stepping out. 

The Prime Minister said that even though today India's vaccination programme is being lauded and being compared to other countries, the country started off from a very different space. India was not producing vaccines but importing them when the pandemic hit, said PM Modi. "Other countries were way ahead of us when it came to vaccines and the research on this field. When the biggest pandemic in 100 years hit, there were apprehensions about how we would deal with this crisis. The 100 crore vaccination doses has the answer," he said. “This is not just a number, it is a beginning of a new chapter, a new India,” said PM Modi.

The PM also said that the vaccines were provided free of cost. While the government hospitals are indeed giving the doses for free, private hospitals are charging for the doses. He also added that there has been no VIP culture when it comes to vaccination. "While many countries are struggling with vaccine hesitancy issue, People’s participation has become the weapon against the pandemic for Indians. For us, democracy means Sabka Saath… everyone was taken along. If the virus does not have discrimination, vaccination also shouldn’t. So, there was no VIP culture allowed in vaccination," he added. 

He also said that India has been excelling as an economy as well and the global community puts great trust in India. While he did not mention the farmers' protest, he did say that the farmers are being able to earn much more now and that too with much ease. His address comes a day after the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses crossed the landmark figure of 100 crore in India.

The Prime Minister had hailed it as history being scripted and, in an opinion piece on Friday, he described India's COVID-19 vaccination drive as a journey from "anxiety to assurance" that has made the country emerge stronger, and credited its success to people's trust in the vaccines despite "various efforts to create mistrust and panic".

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