Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first to take a Covid shot today as nationwide vaccination of persons above 60 and those over 45 with illnesses began.
The Prime Minister’s vaccination at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital featured symbols from states that will vote later this month – he wore a gamosa or scarf from Assam and nurses from Kerala and Puducherry – Rosamma Anil and P Niveda -administered the shot.
“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!” – PM Modi tweeted.
According to P Niveda, the main 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 she learnt 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.
Addressing vaccine hesitancy that has slowed down vaccinations in the country, PM Modi took Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, the homegrown shot that was caught in a controversy as it was cleared for use while still in trial stages.
PM Modi will need his second dose in 28 days, the nurse said.
“He asked where we are from, talked with us,” Sister Niveda said.
Rosamma Anil, the nurse from Kerala, added that it was a surprise. “It was very nice. Sir also was very comfortable,” she grinned.