Prime Minister Narendra Modi today encouraged people to overcome vaccine hesitancy, underlining that even his nonagenarian mother has taken anti-Covid shots as he urged people not to believe in rumours relating to the vaccine.
“I urge you all – trust science. Trust our scientists. So many people have taken the vaccine. I have taken both doses. My mother is almost hundred years old, she has taken both vaccines too. Please do not believe any rumours relating to vaccines. Let us never believe in rumours relating to the vaccine,” PM Modi said as he addressed the nation on the 78th edition of his monthly radio address, “Mann Ki Baat“.
Only by getting vaccinated, one can protect themselves against the deadly disease, he said.
“Those who are spreading rumours on vaccines, let them be. We all will do our work and ensure people around us get vaccinated. The threat of COVID-19 remains and we have to focus on vaccination as well as follow COVID-19 protocols,” he said while speaking to a group of people from a village in Madhya Pradesh. The villagers from Betul district had told PM Modi about vaccine hesitancy among people following rumours about vaccine.
PM Modi’s appeal comes amid concerns over new variants – like the Delta strain – in India, where more than half the population is still not vaccinated. Only 5.6 per cent of India’s adult population has received two doses, according to the government.
On Saturday, during a review meeting, PM Modi asked officials to widen the vaccination programme with the help of NGOs.
Even though as a percentage of the population, the vaccine coverage remains low, the PM’s office pointed out that so far, 128 districts in the country have vaccinated more than 50 per cent of the 45+ population and 16 districts have vaccinated more than 90 per cent of the 45+ population.
“PM expressed satisfaction at the rising speed of vaccinations in this week and stressed that it is important to carry this momentum forward,” the statement said.
The centre expects to get around 188 crore vaccine doses – from at least five manufacturers – to inoculate the entire adult population by the end of the year.