Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday was inoculated with the first shot of a home-grown Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine Covaxin, kicking off an expansion of India’s immunisation drive that began in mid-January with healthcare workers.
After Modi took the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the PM wrote on Twitter: “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19.”
Addressing the hesitancy over the Covid-19 vaccine, PM Modi appealed to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine.
“Together, let us make India COVID-19 free,” he said.
The PM was administered Bharat BioTech’s Covaxin by Sister P Niveda from Puducherry. The second nurse Rosamma Anil was from Kerala.
According to the AIIMS nurse, PM Modi chatted with them and remarked after receiving the vaccine: “Laga bhi diya aur pata bhi nahin chala (Already done? I didn’t even feel it).”
P Niveda, who has been with AIIMS for three years now, said that she learnt today morning that PM Modi was coming for the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Sir (PM Modi) has been administered the first dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The second dose will be given in 28 days. He asked us where do we belong to after the vaccination,” said Sister P Niveda.
PM Modi’s vaccination at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital featured a gamcha of Assam, which is symbolic of the blessings of women from the eastern state. He has been seen wearing it on many occasions.
The second phase of the country’s vaccination campaign against the coronavirus infection to vaccinate those over 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities started today as the country hopes to win the war against the infection.
India, which has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States, has so far vaccinated over 12 million health and front-line workers.