Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation today, 22 October, to commemorate the achievement of India administering one billion coronavirus vaccines. Calling it a “new chapter in history,” Modi asserted that the vaccine milestone was a testament that the country can achieve tough goals successfully.
Adding that the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program was “science-driven and science-based”, PM Modi added that the programme treated all people equally, ensuring that there was no VIP culture overshadowing the program.
He also urged the people who were not vaccinated to get jabbed and appealed to everyone to not let their guard down regarding the coronavirus.
After the prime minister’s speech, Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Kanchan Gupta called Modi’s address a “hugely inspirational message”.
BJP MP Manoj Kotak said that this Diwali, the nation would be “radiating belief and confidence due to our strong fight and victory against corona”. Referencing Modi’s speech, he added that people should buy enthusiastically from local traders to promote the idea of buying local.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor criticised the Modi government after PM Modi’s speech by posting a cartoon that depicted the issues battering the country such as rising fuel prices, with the caption “The day after 1 billion....A reminder!”
National President of Indian Youth Congress, BV Srinivas, took a sarcastic dig at the Prime Minister, asking why everything was “an event for our 10 am to 8 pm Prime Minister?”
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah asked what the BJP was commemorating when only 21 percent of the country’s population was fully vaccinated.
Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said that “should have been an acknowledgement of the loss” faced by the nation, particularly in the second wave of the pandemic.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi too reacted in a tweet, writing: "While I am all for celebrating #1BillionVaccination &it is a tremendous feat, focus now should be on
- increasing from 31% fully vaccinated
- considering the start to young adults getting vaccinated
- bridging the gender gap
- ensuring preparedness for 3rd wave, if at all"
India had achieved the milestone of one billion vaccine doses on 21 October. This makes it the second country after China to administer a billion doses among its population. The country has inoculated about 75 percent of its population once with the COVID-19 vaccine, while 31 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
The achievement was met with praise worldwide, with several notable personalities congratulating the country on achieving this milestone.