The milestone of one billion vaccinations for Covid-19 reflects the "image of new India", said Prime Minister Modi on Friday as he talked about economic growth getting a boost due to rising inoculations.
"We ensured that VIP culture does not overshadow our vaccination programme and everyone is treated equally,” he said in a televised speech.
"We should be proud of the fact that India's entire vaccination program has been 'science-driven and science-based". It's based on scientific methods, entirely,” he said in his tenth speech about the pandemic since last year, NDTV channel said.
“This (number of doses) is not only a number, it reflects the country’s capacity and writes a new chapter in history,” Modi said. “Experts and agencies are optimistic about India’s economy.”
“Now not only are record investments coming to Indian companies, employment opportunities are being created for the youth.”
He urged citizens to purchase locally manufactured products over the upcoming festive season. Modi called for vigilance against Covid-19 and recommended wearing masks during festivals.
India has administered the second-highest number of doses in the world, next only to China, which is said to have given over 2.2 billion doses to its citizens. Nearly 31 per cent of the adult population is now reportedly fully vaccinated while 75 per cent has received their first dose.
India has so far reported 34.1 million Covid-19 cases and more than 452,000 deaths, most during a second wave of infections of the Delta variant between April and May.
"The journey from anxiety to assurance has happened and our nation has emerged stronger, thanks to the world’s largest vaccination drive,” said Modi in an opinion piece for Business Standard this morning before his speech.