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Tens of thousands skip India’s vaccine drive launch


India on Monday stepped up efforts to bolster trust in coronavirus vaccines after it was revealed that nearly a third of those invited to get jabs at the launch of a nationwide drive failed to turn up.

The government has begun one of the world’s most ambitious vaccine programmes, aiming to innoculate 300 million of the 1.3 billion population by July.

In the first three days of the drive, which started Saturday, the government said 381,305 vaccinations were carried out.

In the capital New Delhi, only 53 percent of people came forward for jabs, according to a health official.

“These are initial days and we understand people are waiting to see how the procedure pans out and how other vaccines fare,” said Suneela Garg, a member of the coronavirus task force for the capital.

“These numbers will go up as confidence is strengthened. And for that, we have to tackle misinformation.”

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