Covid vaccine: Mallikarjun Kharge says he's old; 'I don't need,' says Anil Vij
As the second phase of vaccination where people above 60 years of age and 45+ with comorbidities will get vaccinated began from March 1, many politicians, ministers are eligible on age ground. Vice president Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, external affairs minister S Jaishankar got vaccinated on the first day. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also got vaccinated on Monday.
On the question of getting vaccinated, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge said he thinks the priority should be youngsters who have a long life ahead. "I am above 70 years of age. You should give the COVID-19 vaccine to youngsters and increase the longevity of their life. I merely have 10 to 15 more years to live, Youngsters have a long life to live. I will also take the vaccine," the veteran Congress leader said.
It is believed that MPs — half of the total number of MPS eligible for vaccine — will be vaccinated before Parliament resumes on March 8.
Of the 777 MPs India currently has, 366 are above the age of 60, meeting the criteria of those who can be vaccinated in the current phase.
Haryana health minister Anil Vij on Monday said he does not need the vaccine as his antibody count went up to 300 after he contracted Covid-19 in December. In November, he was administered one dose of Covaxin, as part of the third phase trial. In December, he contracted the infection and was hospitalised.
"Today corona vaccine is starting for the people. Now there should be no hesitation at all. I will not be able to receive a dose as after a Covid infection, my antibody count is 300 which is a lot. Maybe the trial vaccine I had taken had a role in that. I don't need vaccine right now," the 66-year-old minister tweeted in Hindi.
Union health ministry, however, has emphasised that those who have already contracted the infection once should take the vaccine.
(With Agency inputs)