On Saturday morning, as India prepared to launch what is being touted as the world's biggest vaccination drive, sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik took to Twitter sharing some of his latest work. The mural depicts a map of India with a massive syringe next to it. "Welcome COVID-19 vaccine. Together we can win" the message says.
"New hope and new beginning. World's largest vaccination drive will start from tomorrow in India . My welcome Covid Vaccine Sand Art at Puri beach with message: Together we can win" he tweeted.
Since the mural was first shared on Friday night, the appreciative comments have not ceased. The well known artist has had his latest work shared by official government handles, as well as countless netizens, both in India and beyond.
India on Saturday began inoculating citizens against the deadly virus, almost exactly a year after the first advisory against COVID-19 was issued in the country. Presently, two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) are being used to vaccinate around three crore people - healthcare workers and essential service personnel. An additional 27 crore people will soon be added to this list.
"Our vaccination programme is driven by humanitarian concerns, those exposed to maximum risk will get priority," said PM Modi while launching the drive.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.
This will be the world's largest vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country. According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.