Modi urges doorstep Covid-19 vaccination as campaign flags in India

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Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India

As India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive shows signs of flagging, with millions having failed to take their second jab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday told officials in lagging districts to launch door-to-door campaigns.

“Even in wealthy nations, corona is attacking again and a country like ours will not be able to withstand this again … so it is important that both vaccine shots should be taken,” Modi told officials of about 40 districts spread across the country.

“Earlier, you were encouraging people to reach vaccination centres, now you have to take the vaccine to every home,” Modi said urging officials to make use of best practices in other regions and use all means of communication including social media.

He also asked officials to use local religious leaders to encourage taking of the vaccine. “Make two-three minute videos and make sure they reach every home.”

The country’s vaccination roll-out began in January and has been marked by ups and downs, including shortages that slowed the pace of the campaign at first, and then a quick pick-up after production and raw material supply chain issues were resolved.

The number of doses administered in a day peaked in mid-September at more than 9 million, but is now averaging between 4 to 5.5 million daily.

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