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Indian launches COVID-19 vaccination campaign

India launched one of the world's largest vaccination campaigns through video conferencing on Saturday (January 16), aiming to bring the pandemic under control.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed health workers.

"India is going to the start the world's largest vaccination drive. I congratulate the countrymen for this."

Modi will not immediately take the vaccine himself as India is initially prioritizing 30 million nurses, doctors and others on the front line.

About 270 million over 50's or those deemed high-risk will follow.

Sanitation worker Manish Kumar became the first person in India to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country.

On the first day of vaccinations, around 100 people will be voluntarily vaccinated in each of the 3,006 centre's in India.

Indians won't have a choice between the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine and a government-backed, homegrown one from Bharat Biotech whose efficacy is not known.

Both are being produced locally.

India has reported the highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States.

The country wants to vaccinate around 300 million people with two doses in the first six to eight months of the year.