India began inoculating its health workers on Saturday in what is probably the largest coronavirus vaccination campaign in the world, and thus joined in the effort.
India began inoculating its health workers on Saturday in what is probably the largest coronavirus vaccination campaign in the world, joining several wealthy nations that began administering the vaccine weeks ago.
The nation has the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world and has one of the largest vaccination programs. But there is no handbook for the enormity of the challenge it faces.
The country’s authorities expect to vaccinate 300 million people, approximately the same population as the United States and several times more than their current program, which includes 26 million children. Among those who will receive the vaccine are 30 million doctors, nurses and other frontline workers who will be followed by another 270 million who are over 50 years old or have diseases that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
The first dose of the vaccine was administered to a health worker at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in the capital, New Delhi, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the campaign in a speech broadcast nationwide. Priority groups in the vast country, which ranges from the Himalayan Mountains to the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, began receiving the vaccine soon after.
We are launching the world’s largest vaccination campaign and that shows the world our ability, Modi said during the speech. He called on citizens not to let down their guard and not to believe any rumors about vaccine safety.
At the moment it was not clear whether Modi, 70, had received the vaccine, as other world leaders have done in order to prove that the vaccine is safe. His government has said that politicians will not be considered priority groups in the first phase of the campaign.