Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine would go a long way in building confidence among Indians in the ongoing nationwide vaccination programme against the coronavirus pandemic, vaccine major Bharat Biotech said on Monday.
The prime minister took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS, New Delhi, and appealed to all those who are eligible to get inoculated. Nurse P Niveda — who hails from Puducherry — administered Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN to the PM.
“We thank the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine himself and are deeply appreciative of the gesture. This has set a powerful example for all Indians to follow, which will go a long way in reducing vaccine hesitancy, and building confidence in immunisation against the ongoing pandemic,” Bharat Biotech International CMD Krishna Ella said in a statement.
Ella expressed his sincere gratitude to the prime minister for reposing his trust in the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN.
“We urge all fellow citizens to not hesitate from taking part in the COVID-19 immunisation programme so that the country can bring an end to this public health crisis,” he noted.
The Indian government had announced last week that everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine from March 1 for free at government facilities and for a charge at many private hospitals.
Citizens will be able to register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the Co-WIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu.
In other development, the Ministry of External Affairs said that India has been able to supply Made in India COVID-19 vaccines to at least six African countries, including Seychelles, Mauritius, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context.)