New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of immunization that may happen in March or April, reports said. The prime minister had earlier opposed those in government to prioritize the frontline warriors and not jump in the queue of inoculation.
“PM will take the vaccine when his turn will come after completion of the first phase,” Hindustan Times reported quoting an official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The 70-year-old prime minister is likely to be in the batch of 270 million people aged 50 and above and those with compromised immunity or underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
Another official from the union health ministry, who was quoted in the report, said that the prime minister could be inoculated by March or April. When asked if the PM would opt for a particular vaccine, the official refused to respond. “It’s too early to say anything,” he said.
Currently, the country is administering Oxford and Serum Institute- developed Covishield (AstraZeneca) and Bharath BioTech’s indigenously developed Covaxin.
The massive inoculation of the COVID-19 vaccine that began on January 16 will cover about 30 million healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. 7,86,842 people were administered vaccines so far.
Three people were reported dead after taking the vaccine. Of them were 52-year-old from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh on January 17; 43-year-old from Bellary, Karnataka on January 18 and a 42-year-old in Nirmal, Telangana on January 20. The respective health ministries, however, clarified that the deaths were unrelated to vaccination.