DNA Special: PM Narendra Modi takes Covaxin jab but Opposition plays politics?

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday was administered the first dose of indigenous developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin at 6’30 AM at the All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) Delhi. The vaccine has been developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

And since then, pictures of the Prime Minister taking the vaccine have been the subject of discussion all over the country. Politics was happening when PM Modi did not take the vaccine and today when he took it, politics is still happening.

In PM’s inoculation visuals, he was seen wearing a ‘gamcha’ from Assam around his neck and the two nurses who vaccinated him were from Kerala and Puducherry. Opposition leaders alleged that this is Modi’s publicity stunt for election campaigning.

When the COVID-19 vaccine came in January, the opposition leaders used to say that Modi is scared which is why he is not taking the vaccine. And today, when the vaccine was administered, the Opposition said that these are electoral stunts done in front of the camera. Such politics regarding Coronavirus will not be seen anywhere else in the world other than India.

The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination began in the country from today, i.e. March 1. This phase was started at 6 am by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was administered the first dose of indigenous developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, which has been developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

“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,” tweeted PM Modi.

Appealing to people to take the vaccine, PM tweeted, “I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!”

The second and final dose of the vaccine will be administered to the Prime Minister on March 28.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu was also administered the COVID-19 vaccine today. Apart from the Prime Minister and the Vice-President, some cabinet ministers of the government and the chief ministers of the states also got vaccinated. Home Minister Amit Shah, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, Cabinet Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also got vaccinated.

In the first phase, vaccine was being provided to healthcare workers and frontline workers. That is why PM Modi waited for his turn and received the vaccine in the second phase where over 60 years of age are being vaccinated.

After his Covaxin jab, rumors of foreign COVID-19 vaccines being better than indigenous ones were also put to rest. Two vaccines are being administered in India right now — Covaxin and Covishield.

When COVID-19 vaccines were introduced in India, many state governments had demanded only Covishied vaccine. Usually, people think that if there is an imported product then it would be good. But today, the Prime Minister chose the Made In India ‘Covaxin’ for himself and put a stamp of trust on the research of scientists and doctors of the country. After this step of the Prime Minister, the fear of getting vaccine has reduced in people. The message is clear, don’t be afraid to get vaccinated when your turn comes, and trust whatever vaccine is chosen for you.

But the opposition’s commentary continued even after the Prime Minister got vaccinated. ‘Why did the Prime Minister wear Assam’s gamcha, why did Puducherry and Kerala nurses were the ones to vaccinate PM Modi’. Many such questions were raised. It is the same Opposition that also questioned India’s vaccination program.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury hinted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi managed the optics of his first Covid-19 vaccine jab to bring in elements from as many poll-bound states as possible.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “In PM’s inoculation visuals, there was ‘gamcha’ from Assam, and nurses who vaccinated him were from Kerala and Puducherry. Coincidentally, there are elections in these states. It would have been 5 states had he also carried Rishi Aurobindo’s photo and Geetanjali.”

When the video of Prime Minister Modi’s vaccine came out, it was termed as a publicity stunt by the Opposition. If there had been no video of the Prime Minister getting the vaccine, then the Opposition would’ve sought proof. If the PM had gotten another vaccine, it would have been said that he did not trust the Indian vaccine.

When Prime Minister Modi was vaccinated, Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS was also present at the AIIMS Vaccination Center. Apart from them, two nurses were also present who did not know to whom they will administer the vaccine dose.

P Niveda, the nurse who vaccinated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is from Puducherry. Sister P Niveda said that PM Modi jokingly told her that the skin of the leaders is thick, so they should apply the vaccine with a thick needle.

“It is very nice to see sir. Only today morning, we came to know that the Prime Minister would be coming for vaccination. It was nice to see him, he was very comfortable,” another nurse, sister Rosamma told the media.

The government informed that from March 1, the nationwide vaccination program will be exponentially expanded to all citizens above 60 years of age, and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities.

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