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Netizens laud vaccine launch; 'LargestVaccineDrive' hashtag trends on Twitter hours after roll-out

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2021

People watch the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on the launch of Covid -19 vaccination drive, at District Hospital in Varanasi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.   -  PTI

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India's Covid-19 vaccination programme, netizens on Saturday lauded the PM for the roll-out of the nation-wide inoculation drive with the hashtag 'LargestVaccineDrive' trending on Twitter.

Launching India's Covid-19 vaccination drive, Modi reassured the country that emergency use authorisation was given to two made in India vaccines only after scientists were convinced of their safety and effectiveness, and urged people to beware of propaganda and rumours.

Addressing the nation ahead of the launch of what he described as the world's largest vaccination programme, Modi said these vaccines will ensure a "decisive victory" for the country over the coronavirus pandemic, but asked countrymen to continue wearing masks and maintain social distancing even after receiving the jabs.

Soon after the event, Twitter and other social media platforms were abuzz with comments over his speech with several people hailing the prime minister's remarks and the beginning of the vaccination drive.

Just hours after the launch, 'LargestVaccineDrive' was trending on Twitter with over 4.3 lakh tweets.

"World was suffering, Yet Indians were optimistic bcoz we knew PM will save us. Economy was suffering, Yet Indians were optimistic bcoz we knew PM will save it. There were confusions on vaccines, Yet Indians were relaxed bcoz we knew PM would select best vaccine. Thank you Modi ji," a Twitter user said.

Another Twitter user said, "Once again, PM @narendramodi, assured the people of India that 'we will defeat #COVID19'. Thank you Prime Minister for taking care of us as head of the family." Another netizen hailed scientists for their tireless work and Prime Minister Modi for his "impeccable leadership" at the time of crisis.

"India unveils the world’s #LargestVaccineDrive! It’s the unmatched global vaccination leadership India is demonstrating to the world!" the Twitter user said.

Many on social media also praised the prime minister's remarks at the launch event, terming his address "motivating".

"Congratulations Prime Minister for your incredible leadership throughout the crisis," a Twitter user said.

However, there were also some voices of caution and criticism on Twitter.

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan cited a media report which stated that a total of 23 people died in Norway within days of receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and said that yet, here in India, "we roll out vaccines without proper trials or transparency, even though Covid cases & deaths have declined sharply".

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari also raised questions over the emergency use approval given to the indigenously developed Covaxin and alleged that it was "sans due process".

"As vaccine roll out begins, it is all a bit puzzling India has no policy framework for authorising emergency use. Yet, two vaccines have been approved for restricted use in emergency situation," Tewari said in a tweet just before Prime Minister Modi launched the vaccination drive.

"COVAXIN is another story -- Approvals sans Due Process," the former Union minister said, tagging a media report which claimed scientists and doctors are divided on the issue of restricted use approval granted to the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

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Published on January 16, 2021
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