PM's move to get inoculated would remove vaccine hesitancy: AIIMS Director
AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria said on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to take the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on the very first day of India opening up the inoculation drive for senior citizens and those aged 45 and above with comorbidities should eliminate any hesitancy from the minds of people about the vaccine.
"PM Modi took Made in India, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine and showed that both vaccines are safe and efficacious. We must come forward and take whichever vaccine is available. There's been controversy comparing one vaccine to other, that has also been laid to rest today," Guleria told news agency ANI.
"PM took Covid-19 vaccine and showed that we must do the same when turn comes. It will go long way in getting over vaccine hesitancy. All over 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities must take vaccine. It's the only way to come out of pandemic," he added.
Guleria added that PM Modi wanted to put the nursing officers at ease and therefore he joked, talked to them in local language and enquired where they were from. "It really helped because nurses were not aware of whom they would be vaccinating," he said.
"This (PM receiving Covid vaccine jab) will be a big game-changer. I am sure a large number of people will come and take the vaccine. We have opened many sites to accommodate people, both in govt and private sector. In AIIMS, five sites have been opened," Guleria added.
PM Modi received the indigenously developed Covaxin jab by Bharat Biotech this morning and appealed to all those who are eligible to get inoculated.
"Took my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against Covid-19," Modi tweeted after taking the vaccine shot.
"I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India Covid-19 free!" he said.
Bharat Biotech has said efficacy data from a late-stage trial on nearly 26,000 volunteers who took Covaxin will be out soon. The company and Drugs Controller General of India have said Covaxin is safe and effective, based on early and intermediate studies.
The Prime Minister was the first person to be vaccinated on Monday as the country began its second phase of the immunisation campaign.