Prime Minister Narendra Modi today 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”.’
“When everyone takes ownership, nothing is impossible. Our healthcare workers traversed hills and crossed rivers across difficult geographies to vaccinate people. Our youth, social workers, healthcare workers, social and religious leaders, all deserve credit for the fact that India faces minimal vaccine hesitancy when compared to even developed nations,” PM Modi wrote in an opinion piece a day after the cumulative vaccine doses crossed the landmark figure of 100 crores.
Noting that humanity was dealing with such a pandemic after 100 years, he said, “We remember how unpredictable the situation appeared then, as we were faced by an unknown and invisible enemy mutating rapidly. The journey from anxiety to assurance has happened and our nation has emerged stronger, thanks to the world’s largest vaccination drive.”
PM Modi said that the milestone was achieved in nine months despite many doubting the country’s capability and asserted that his government ensured that, like its other schemes, there is no “VIP culture” in the vaccination drive either.
“One of the reasons for the success of the campaign was the trust that people developed in the vaccine and the process followed, despite various efforts to create mistrust and panic,” he added.
“There are some among us who only trust foreign brands, even for simple everyday necessities. However, when it came to something as crucial as the COVID-19 vaccine, the people of India unanimously trusted ‘Made in India” vaccines. This is a significant paradigm shift,” he said.
Expressing hope that the success of the vaccination drive will further spur India’s youth, innovators, and all levels of government, he said, “When India started its vaccination programme, there were many people who doubted the capabilities of 130 crore Indians. Some said India would take 3-4 years. Some others said people will not come forward to get vaccinated. There were those who said there will be gross mismanagement and chaos in the vaccination process.”
“It ensured that the vaccine drive was equitable, scalable, trackable, and transparent. This ensured that there was no scope for favouritism or jumping the queue. It also ensured that a poor worker could take the first dose in his village and the second dose of the same vaccine in the city where he works, after the required time interval,” he said, adding that there are hardly any examples of such efforts not only in India but also the world.