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India's Modi kicks off world's largest COVID vaccination drive

Prime minister gives emotional tribute to health care and front-line workers

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's gives a speech inaugurating the country's COVID-19 vaccination program via video link in New Delhi on Jan. 16. (Photo courtesy of Government of India)

NEW DELHI -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive, which is expected to inoculate around 300 million of India's 1.3 billion people over the next few months.

"The whole country had been waiting for this day with bated breath," Modi said as he announced the start of the program via video link to 3,006 vaccination sites nationwide. Roughly 300,000 people are expected to receive shots on the first day.

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