NEW DELHI, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide vaccination drive on Saturday to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the day as many as 300,000 recipients would receive their first shot of the vaccine at 3,006 sites set up across the country. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said a total of 30 million people would be given the vaccine in the first phase of vaccination, and nearly 300 million would be reached out by the end of the second phase.
He appealed to the recipients to continue observing all precautions, like wearing facemasks, social distancing and washing hands, after taking the first shot of the vaccine.
The PM also urged them to take the second shot at the appropriate time and not miss it.
Meanwhile, TV footage showed people applauding as vaccines were being taken inside the vaccination centers and administered to the recipients.