Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, March 1, was inoculated with the first shot of indigenous Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine. This sets in motion an expansion of India's inoculation drive that began on January 16 with healthcare and frontline workers.
PM Modi was administered the jab by Sisters Rosamma Anil and P Niveda, from Kerala and Puducherry. According to P Niveda, the main nurse, the prime minister chatted with them and remarked after receiving the vaccine, "Laga bhi diya aur pata bhi nai chala (It's done? I didn't even realise it)."
Sister Niveda said she was told in the morning that PM Modi was coming for the coronavirus vaccine.
"I was called to administer COVID-19 vaccine but wasn't told that it was the PM who was to get the jab. It was only after I arrived at the hospital that I learnt that Sir [PM Modi] was coming for the vaccine," sister P Niveda, who inoculated PM Modi, told India Today TV.
The nurse further stated that PM Modi spoke with her briefly and asked her about her hometown. "It was really nice to meet him," she said adding that the prime minister will be administered his second dose in 28 days.
"Today is one of the happiest moments in my life as Prime Minister Modiji came to our hospital for vaccination. He came early in the morning, greeted us with vanakkam (namaste). He enquired about us, from which state we are from, how long we have been here. Me and my colleague administered Covaxin. He was under observation for 30 minutes. There was no complications. He was very happy, thanked us and left after half an hour," Sister Niveda beamed.
PM Modi also tweeted a picture of himself taking the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Sporting an Assamese 'gamocha' the prime minister was seen getting vaccinated with a smile on his face. Gamocha is symbolic of the blessings of women from Assam.
"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," PM Modi posted. Addressing the hesitancy over the vaccine, he urged all those eligible to take the jab shot. "Together, let us make India COVID-19 free," said PM Modi.
The second phase of the country's inoculation campaign against COVID-19 began on Monday, March 1. People over 60 and 45 with comorbidities will receive the vaccination
India on Monday, March 1, began the second phase of its coronavirus vaccination drive to cover 10 crore people across the country.
The government, in this phase, will vaccinate people over 60 and individuals over 45 with comorbidities to rein in the rising number of more infectious virus strains leading to a spurt in COVID-19 cases in some states.
Registrations to get vaccinated opened at 9 am at www.cowin.gov.in and the Aarogya Setu app with walk-in enrolments in some places as well.