Modi may take Covid-19 vaccine in March or April
Published: 07:33 PM, 21 January 2021
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may take Covid-19 vaccine shot in the second phase of the countrywide immunisation programme as first phase of the exercise has been progressing across the country.
Politicians, including all chief ministers, MPs, MLAs, and people above 50 are likely to take vaccine shots in the second phase, officials familiar with the developments told media on Wednesday.
In the first phase that began on January 16, some 30 million healthcare and frontline workers would be vaccinated during the world’s largest inoculation exercise while the second phase of the programme will involve 270 million people, media reports said quoting official sources.
“Modi, 70, is likely to be in this (second) batch…the exact dates hadn’t been determined,” The Hindustan Times reported today, quoting a highly placed official involved in the vaccination drive.
“PM will take the vaccine when his turn will come after completion of the first phase…He (Modi) himself said this in his meeting with chief ministers that politicians shouldn’t try to break the queue and only take the vaccine when their turn comes,” the HT quoted an official of Indian Prime Minister’s office as saying.
An official of the Union Health Ministry hinted the newspaper that PM Modi’s turn is likely to come by March or April.
But it was not determined which vaccine the prime minister would be administered although India has approved two Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use to fight against coronavirus.
One “Covishield” which is developed by Oxford AstraZeneca and another one “Covaxin” is manufactured by the Bharat Biotech Limited.
Meanwhile, Dr Vinod Paul, member (health) of Niti Aayog and who heads the government’s Covid-19 task force, said the second phase was crucial as people aged above 50 and all political workers would feature in this section.
Currently, about 10 million healthcare workers are being administered the vaccine…Other frontline workers will perhaps start getting the vaccine in about a week’s time, according to Dr Paul.
However, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday categorically said that the vaccine is completely safe and effective.
“The message is clear that the vaccine is safe and effective. The said adverse events or side effects surfacing are common and it can be seen after any vaccination,” he added.
India is currently administering the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, made by Serum Institute of India (SII) and known locally as Covishield.