India launched phase 3 of its Covid-19 vaccination drive on Monday benefiting everyone above the age of 60 and those within the age bracket of 45-59 with comorbidities to get vaccinated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first beneficiary under the expanded programme by getting inoculated at AIIMS Delhi.
Though registration opened at 9 am, the prime minister was the first off the block. He visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) early in the morning to take his first dose and appeal to everyone eligible to get themselves inoculated.
"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," Modi tweeted at 7.06 am.
"I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!" he said.
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
PM Modi received the indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine from Bharat Biotech.
Modi’s move to take the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on the very first day of India opening up the inoculation drive should eliminate any hesitancy from the minds of people about the vaccine, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria said.
The AIIMS director said Modi took the shot around 6.30 am and was kept under observation for half-and-hour as per protocol and left after that. His second dose is due after 28 days.
As the vaccination drive on Monday kickstarted with people queuing up outside government and private medical facilities, the Union Health Ministry said that more than one million citizens registered themselves in the Co-WIN portal till 1 pm.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Odisha Chief Minister also received their first shots of Covid-19 vaccine.
I took my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Government Medical College, Chennai today.
I will be taking the 2nd dose after 28 days.
I appeal to all the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated proactively and join in the fight against novel coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/mfA1xJXiGg— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) March 1, 2021
Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter to share the news and encourage eligible beneficiaries to get themselves vaccinated against the virus.
Happy to share that I took my first dose of #COVID19 vaccine today. Grateful to our scientists, health workers for their race against time to deliver the vaccines to people.March 1, 2021
In keeping with the electoral promise by the BJP-led NDA ahead of the recent elections in Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar said vaccines will be provided free to everybody. He also appealed to everybody to come forward and get themselves vaccinated.
Rajya Sabha member and president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar also took his first dose of Covid vaccine in a hospital in Mumbai. He took to Twitter to share some pictures and encourage people to get the vaccine and join the fight against coronavirus.
I took my first dose of the #COVID19Vaccine in Sir J. J. Hospital, Mumbai today. To strengthen the Vaccination Drive, I appeal to all those who are eligible to take vaccine and join the fight against corona virus. pic.twitter.com/Tdl9fMxhXs— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) March 1, 2021
Darshana Jardosh, Member of Parliament from Surat also shared pictures of getting her first jab of Covid-19 vaccine at the Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research (SMIMER).
Took the first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine with my husband at the Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research (SMIMER).
I request all those eligible to get vaccinated with our very safe Made in India vaccine to achieve a decisive victory against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/VHDVcGmjvm— Darshana Jardosh (@DarshanaJardosh) March 1, 2021
Other than Covaxin, the other vaccine being administered in the country is Covishield from the Oxford-AstraZeneca stable.
The vaccines will be administered free of cost at government hospitals. A cost of Rs 250 including Rs 150 for the vaccine and Rs 100 service cost will be charged at private hospitals.
(With inputs from PTI)