New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches one of the world's biggest coronavirus vaccine programmes today.

The vaccination programme, aimed at inoculating 3 crore health and other frontline workers first, will use shots manufactured in India - one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, the other by Bharat Biotech with the country's top clinical research body.

Health workers, people over 50 and those deemed at high-risk are prioritised to receive one of the two approved vaccines.

On day one around 3,00,000 people will receive the first of two doses.

“Everyone was asking as to when the vaccine will be available. It is available now. I congratulate all the countrymen on this occasion,” PM Modi started his address.

“Normally, it takes many years to make a vaccine but in such a short span of time, not one, but two 'Made in India' vaccines are ready. Meanwhile, the work on other vaccines is progressing at a fast pace.”

“I would like to remind you again that it is very important to have two doses of coronavirus vaccine. Between the first and second doses, a gap of about one month will be kept. Your body will develop the necessary strength against the COVID-19 2 weeks after the second dose.”

“Healthcare workers across public and private hospitals will get vaccinated. After healthcare workers, police, firemen and others will be vaccinated. India has vaccines to inoculate up to 30 crore people.”

“I request you not to make the mistake of taking off the mask and not maintaining social distancing after getting the first dose because immunity develops after the second dose,” PM Modi said.

“Never before has this type of vaccination and such a large-scale vaccination campaign been run in history. There are more than 100 countries in the world whose population is less than 30 million. And India is vaccinating 3 crore people in its first phase of vaccination. In the second phase, we have to take it to the number of 30 crores. Those who are elderly, who are suffering from serious illness, will get vaccinated at this stage.”

“The world has immense faith in India's scientists and capacity of vaccine production. Indian vaccines are relatively cheaper than those made in other countries. We have got two vaccines in such a short time, it's a testimony to our scientists' talent and skills.”

“In the fight against Corona, we've set an example for the world at many steps. When countries left their citizens stuck in China amidst this pandemic, on their own, India stepped up and evacuated not only Indians but also people of other nations under the Vande Bharat mission,” said PM Modi.

“Start of vaccination does not mean people should stop following the Covid protocols of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. We must take another vow - Dawai bhi, Kadaai bhi,” PM Modi said during the launch of nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive.