1 billion jabs identity of a new India: Modi

New Delhi (TIP): India gave a befitting reply to those questioning the country’s ability to vaccinate its population against Covid-19 and surmounted the challenge posed by the pandemic by administering one billion shots in a short time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, Oct 22.

Modi also took a swipe at his opponents and said economic growth was getting a boost from rising vaccinations, a day after India administered the billionth Covid-19 shot to much fanfare.

“100 crore vaccinations are not just a figure, but a reflection of the strength of the country, it is the creation of a new chapter of history. This is a picture of a new India that sets difficult goals and knows how to achieve them,” the PM said in a televised address to the nation.

He said that while other countries had the expertise, India achieved the target by basing the vaccination programme on scientific methods. “Questions were asked if Indians can cope with this pandemic, where will it get the money to purchase vaccines, will Indians get the vaccines or not, will it be able to inoculate so many to stop the (Covid-19) spread… This one billion is an answer to these questions,” he added.

The billionth shot was administered on Thursday, nine months and five days after the country’s Covid-19 immunisation programme kicked off on January 16. Only China has been able to administer more doses.

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