India has begun one of the world’s biggest Covid-19 vaccination programmes, the first major developing country to roll out the vaccine, marking the beginning of an effort to immunise more than 1.3 billion people.
The first dose was administered to a health worker at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, after the prime minister, Narendra Modi, kickstarted the campaign with a national televised speech.
“We are launching the world’s biggest vaccination drive and it shows the world our capability,” Modi said.
He implored citizens to keep their guard up and not to believe any “rumours about the safety of the vaccines.”
India has registered more than 10.5m coronavirus cases, the second highest in the world, and 151,000 deaths. The government has been preparing for the vaccine rollout for weeks, and over the past few days shipments were sent to more than 3,000 sites set up for injections.