'India Scripts History': PM Modi as Country Administers 1 Billion COVID Vaccines

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India has achieved the milestone of administering 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday, 21 October, nearly nine months after the inoculation drive was initiated in January.

"India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi visited the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi's Connaught Place as India administered its billionth vaccine.

The central government has also planned massive celebrations at the Red Fort in the national capital to mark the momentous occasion.

Largest National Flag to Be Hoisted at Red Fort, Song Release Planned

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is expected to launch a song by singer Kailash Kher and an audio-visual film on Thursday in order to celebrate the landmark event.

The largest national flag, a handspun khadi tricolour weighing around 1,400 kg, is expected to be hoisted at the Red Fort event, news agency PTI reported.

"The country is close to making vaccine century. To be part of this golden opportunity, I appeal to citizens who are yet to be vaccinated to contribute in this historic golden vaccination journey of India by getting vaccinated immediately," Mandaviya had said in a tweet in Hindi on Wednesday.

Airline SpiceJet will inaugurate a special livery at the Delhi airport on Thursday, as per PTI. The event will be attended by Mandaviya, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraj Scindia, and SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh.

The government is expected to make announcements on airplanes, ships, metros, and at railway stations upon the administration of the billionth dose.

Also Read: COVID-19: Fully Vaccinated Foreign Travellers Allowed in US From 8 November

'Matter of Pride': Amit Shah, Shashi Tharoor, Others Celebrate Vaccine Landmark

Several political leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, took to Twitter to mark India's vaccination achievement.

Even as India sets an immunisation milestone, the disparity between those vaccinated with both doses and those who have received only one jab remains wide. According to information available on the CoWIN website, about 75 percent of all adults have been administered the first dose of the vaccine while around 31 percent having received both doses.

"After 100 crore doses are administered, we will go in mission mode to ensure that those who have taken their first dose take their second dose too to ensure they are protected against COVID-19," Mandaviya had been quoted as saying.

India becomes the second country to vaccinate 1 billion citizens, after China.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read: COVID-19: How Safe is Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for Vaccinating Children?

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