Administering 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines is a testament to India's innovation and efforts of millions of health workers, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said today and congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the feat.
India has administered 1 billion vaccine doses, a testament to India's innovation, ability to manufacture at scale, and the efforts of millions of health workers backed by CoWIN. Congratulations @narendramodi@mansukhmandviya@PMOIndia@MoHFW_Indiahttps://t.co/vygRkSkPRm— Bill Gates (@BillGates) October 22, 2021
A day after the country clocked 1 billion or 100 crore Covid jabs, Mr Gates shared a report by The Times of India with the tweet, "India has administered 1 billion vaccine doses, a testament to India's innovation, ability to manufacture at scale, and the efforts of millions of health workers backed by CoWIN. Congratulations @narendramodi @mansukhmandviya @PMOIndia @MoHFW_India."
More than 101 crore doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in the country so far, as per data on the CoWIN website. While nearly 30 crore people have received both doses, over 71 crore people have received the first shot.
Addressing the nation today, Prime Minister Modi said 100 crore is "not just a number" but the symbol of the country's ability and of "new India".
"Everyone questioned whether India will be able to do it. 100 crore vaccine shots is an answer to all the questions," he said.
The country, he said, had only one mantra -- that if the disease does not discriminate, then vaccination cannot either. "That is why we ensured that the vaccine drive was not overtaken by VIP culture," said the Prime Minister.
With no mention of the deadly second wave, which had ambushed the country's healthcare system, the Prime Minister focused on what he called positives of the vaccination record.
The Prime Minister also tackled criticism of some of his past addresses, including his call for clapping and clanging utensils to honour frontline health workers in the early days of the outbreak. "People said how taali thalli will help eradicate the virus. But it was a reflection of people's participation and capacity. This success reflects the important place of technology that not even big nations have today. Our vaccine programme is a result of technology. It is science-born, science-driven and science-based. Science and scientific approach are at the heart of it," he said.
He said the war, however, was not over yet and urged Indians to adopt the mask as a way of life. "Like we wear shoes, we should make it a habit of wearing masks," he said.