Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi on Monday.
In a tweet, he wrote, “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. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!”
The prime minister went to AIIMS early morning, so as to avoid any inconvenience to the public.
PM Modi’s vaccine was administered by sister P Niveda from Puducherry. The second nurse present was Rosamma Anil from Kerala. He wore a gamosa (scarf) from Assam. All three would go to assembly polls in a few weeks’ time.
Nurse P. Niveda was later quoted by NDTV as the prime minister having chatted with them. He remarked: “Laga bhi diya our path bhi nahin chala (Already done? I didn’t even feel it).
P Niveda has been in AIIMS for three years now. She said she learnt only this morning that the Prime Minister was coming for vaccine.
“I am posted at the vaccine centre. I was called. We found out PM sir is coming today. It was great to meet PM sir,” she said.
Modi’s choice of vaccine was also uncanny. He took Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, the homegrown shot which is seemingly less preferred than Covishield, being produced by Serum Institute.
The prime minister would need his second dose in 28 days, said the nurse.
Two vaccines will be available for now, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. The vaccine will be available for free at government hospitals. Private hospitals that are authorized to provide the Covid-19 vaccine can charge Rs.250 for the vaccine.
By choosing the Bharat Biotech vaccine, Prime Minister Modi has addressed the hesitancy towards the Covid-19 vaccine as it had run into a controversy after it was approved by the regulatory authority for emergency use without phase-3 trial results.