Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his signature evening address to the nation, on Tuesday said India has led the COVID-19 vaccination programme with two “Made-in-India vaccines”, and from May 1, all those above 18 years of age would be eligible for the jab. He also highlighted the point that so far more than 12 crore vaccine doses have been administered and the needy people are being given the dose free of cost in all government hospitals.

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Assuring that the country is prepared to deal with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which has “hit us like a storm”, PM Modi said the pharma sector was working relentlessly to meet all COVID-19 challenges, including on vaccine development and supply.

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On the supply of oxygen, PM Modi said that the shortage of oxygen cylinders has come across as a major problem and said all stakeholders were working collectively to meet this challenge, adding that the steps taken in the last few days will improve the oxygen supply chain.

Urging the people to stand by each other and those who need help, PM Modi said the people were undergoing suffering but “we need to fight it out with all our might” and expressed confidence that the coronavirus will be defeated with the combined efforts of the people.