Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lead by example as he took the first jab of COVID-19 vaccine the day when the vaccination of people above 60 years began, said Union Health and Family Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday. He also urged opposition leaders to take the COVID-19 vaccine and help in ending the vaccine hesitancy.
Talking to ANI, the Union Minister said, "I have been saying from the beginning that both our vaccines are safe and perfect as far as immunogenicity is concerned. We are thankful to Prime Minister, he has always told us that you have to lead by example. He took the jab first when the vaccination of people above 60 years has begun."
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, a coronavirus vaccine developed in India by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
"Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS," PM Modi had tweeted with his picture of receiving the jab. "Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19," the Prime Minister had added.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Minister added that now we must bury all misconceptions and apprehensions over Covaxin. "Prime Minister Modi took Covaxin, against which a lot of misinformation was spread even when it was scientifically perfect. I think the Prime Minister has given a clear message to the country. All misinformation and hesitancy should be buried once and for all," the Minister said.
The Minister also called on the opposition leaders, elected representatives and common people to come forward and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
"I appeal to all citizens who are above 60 years of age, those above 45 years with comorbidities, all MPs-MLAs and even Opposition MLAs to get vaccinated. This would send a message to people that they should get vaccinated at the earliest," he said.
"I will do the booking today and I plan to get vaccinated tomorrow," the Minister added.
The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country.