Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his first shot of coronavirus vaccine this morning at Delhi’s AIIMS as India expands the vaccination drive to people over 60 and those over 45 who have illnesses.
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” PM Modi tweeted as he shared an image of himself taking first dose of the vaccine.
PM Modi also appealed to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine.
“Together, let us make India COVID-19 free,” he said.
PM Modi was administered home-grown Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
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! pic.twitter.com/5z5cvAoMrv
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 1, 2021
Apart from Covaxin, Pune-based Serum Institute’s Covishield, developed in patnership with Oxford University and pharma giant AstraZeneca, is being used in the vaccination drive which began on January 16.
More vaccines are likely to be approved for use in the coming months, including Russia’s Sputnik-V and Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCov-D.
India will expand its coronavirus vaccination programme today to cover people over 60 and those over 45 who have illnesses as it hopes to rein in a growing number of more infectious virus strains and a spurt in cases in some states.
Registrations are set to open at 9 am at www.cowin.gov.in and the Aarogya Setu app and there will be walk-in vaccinations in some places as well. India began its vaccination drive on January 16 intending to inoculate three crore frontline workers but has struggled with hesitancy, giving out some 1.43 crore shots so far.
The government hopes to vaccinate 30 crore people by August in this second phase.
India has reported the second-highest number of cases after the United States at 1.1 crore. Cases have spiked in recent days in states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Punjab.