Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that India has vaccinated 2 crore people against COVID-19 on Friday, September 17 on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s 71st birthday. “Thanks to all health workers, Well done India,” the health minister said. 

Earlier, the health minister had called upon the people of the country to give a special present to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday by ensuring a record number of vaccinations. India is set to make a record of 2.5 crore vaccinations on Friday.  India touched the 2-crore vaccine mark at around 5:30. The 1-crore vaccine mark in a day was reached at around 1:30 pm.

Also Read | Olympians’ gifts to PM Narendra Modi could fetch over Rs 10 crore at auction

“On PM Narendra Modi Ji’s birthday, till 1:30 pm, the country has crossed the mark of 1 crore vaccines, the fastest so far, and we are continuously moving forward. I believe that today we will all make a new record of vaccination and give it as a gift to the prime minister,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had tweeted at the time. 

India reported 34,303 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours preceding Friday’s health bulletin.  The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked health volunteers to make sure that people arrive to take their shots on the occasion, according to media reports. Even senior BJP leaders took up the initiative to breach the record on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. 

“What can be more special than protecting people for which the Prime Minister is working day and night. It is a matter of pride that we have two COVID vaccines in our name and we have been able to protect citizens from this deadly pandemic. It would be a befitting tribute to PM Modi who strived hard to ensure people remained protected from COVID,” Tarun Chugh, BJP general secretary told Times Now. 

As of 8am on September 17, India had vaccinated over 77 crore people across the country. With Friday’s record-breaking vaccination numbers, close to 80 crore people will have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.