Sanitation worker Manish Kumar, who according to the officials is the first person in the country vaccinated against the Covid-19 in Delhi.(REUTERS)
Sanitation worker Manish Kumar, who according to the officials is the first person in the country vaccinated against the Covid-19 in Delhi.(REUTERS)

AIIMS worker, 34, is first in India to get Covid-19 vaccine

The Najafgarh resident said he had volunteered to be vaccinated first as his colleagues chosen for the drive were "scared" before getting the shot.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 05:11 PM IST

Manish Kumar, a 34-year-old sanitation worker at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), became the first person in India to be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country's immunisation drive to bring the pandemic under control.

The Najafgarh resident said he had volunteered to be vaccinated first as his colleagues chosen for the drive were "scared" before getting the shot. "I did not know that I am the first person to receive the vaccine. I had a good sleep last night, came here in the morning and talked to the other staff who were to get the shot," news agency PTI quoted Kumar as saying. "Many of them were scared. So, I went to my seniors and said I should be given the vaccine first. I wanted to prove to my colleagues that there is no need to be scared," Kumar also said, PTI reported.

Kumar, who has been working for the hospital for the last eight years now, received the first shot of the vaccine in presence of Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and other doctors. After getting inoculated, Kumar said he will work without any hesitation now. "Earlier, I used to hesitate during duties due to coronavirus. Now, there will not be any hesitation," Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He said that while he was not worried at all, his wife was a bit nervous. "She even asked me not to take the vaccine. I told her it is just an injection. After taking the dose, I asked my mother to tell my wife that I am safe," he said, according to news agency PTI.

When asked to share his experience after getting the vaccine shot, Kumar said, "I am having no issues like itching or anything. It is a big step for the country. Those who are having apprehensions after reading WhatsApp messages about these vaccines should not fear. After getting the shot, I am feeling better now."

The drugs regulatory body of India has currently approved two vaccines to be used in the country. Pune-based Serum Institute of India has manufactured Covishield, the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad's Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Medical Council of Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.


India, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases after the United States, plans to vaccinate around 300 million people in the first six to eight months of the year. Some 30 million healthcare and other frontline workers are first in line followed by about 270 million people older than 50 or deemed high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions.

More than 10.5 million people in India have been infected with the coronavirus, including more than 151,000 who have died.

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