India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people on Sunday to overcome their hesitancy and get Covid-19 vaccinations as soon as possible, as concerns grow about the highly infectious Delta variant being detected in some states.
After a fall in infections from May’s daily peak of 400,000, India has redoubled its efforts to inoculate the country’s 940 million adults amid supply constraints and fears of a third wave of pandemic.
“Get vaccinated,” Modi said in his monthly radio address, urging the public to adhere to social distancing and wear masks. “That is a good safety shield. Think about that.”
India must administer 10 million doses a day to achieve its aim of inoculating all adults by December, experts say. But the country has fully vaccinated fewer than 6% with two doses.
Interacting with some villagers in a virtual meeting, Modi asked community leaders to foster awareness among villagers about the benefits of vaccination and curb rumours about ill effects.
He said this month the government would buy 75% of all vaccines from drugmakers and distribute them for free to states, which along with private hospitals had been buying shots for people aged 18 to 45.