Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged Indians to overcome vaccine hesitancy and get inoculated against the coronavirus. He was addressing the country in his monthly “Mann ki Baat” radio programme.

“I have taken both doses [of the Covid-19 vaccine],” he said. “My mother is almost [a] 100 years old, she has taken both vaccines too. Please do not believe any negative rumours relating to vaccines.”

The prime minister said the threat of the coronavirus disease still remains and that the focus should be on vaccination as well as following Covid-19 protocols. “Those who are spreading rumours on vaccines, let them be,” he said. “We all will do our work and ensure people around us get vaccinated.”

He urged citizens to trust science and scientists and pointed out that many people have taken the vaccine. Modi also said that scientists have worked hard to make the vaccines, stressing that the jabs were safe, reported NDTV.

Modi pointed out that some people may get fever after the shot but said it was very mild and would last only for a few hours, according to News18. “Avoiding [Covid-19] vaccine can be very dangerous,” he said. “You’re not only putting yourself at risk but also your family and the entire village.”

The prime minister also spoke about sprinter Milkha Sinha, who died on June 18 after a month-long battle with Covid-19. “When talking about the Olympics, how can we not remember Milkha Singh Ji,” he said. “When he was hospitalised, I got a chance to speak to him, I had requested him to motivate the athletes going for Tokyo Olympics.”

Modi expressed his gratitude to the citizens of the country for strengthening India’s fight against the pandemic.

India has so far administered 31,69,79,872 Covid-19 vaccine doses, with 5,49,21,537 beneficiaries getting both the shots, data on CoWIN portal showed. This means that only 4.03% of India’s population has been full vaccinated so far. In terms of citizens aged 18 and above, only about 5.6% of India’s adult population of 95 crore has received both shots, according to NDTV.

On Sunday, India recorded 50,040 new coronavirus cases, pushing the infection tally in the country to 3,02,33,183 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The toll climbed to 3,95,751 after 1,258 citizens died of the infection in the last 24 hours.