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Photo-story: With top leaders showing the way, more Indians rush to get coronavirus shots

By taking the India-made Covaxin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a booster dose to India's vaccination campaign (IANS)

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the India-made Covaxin Shot at AIIMS on Monday, he gave an unprecedented boost to India's coronavirus vaccination campaign.

With the responsible enthusiasm shown by India's political leadership in a health crisis, the vaccination campaign for the dreaded Covid-19 will rival the international Pulse Polio campaign—another debilitating infection. 

Within one day of the government opening up vaccinations to a large majority of the population, Indians have responded in large numbers to get vaccinated. 

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan told media on Tuesday morning that over 40 lakh people registered themselves for vaccination on the CoWIN portal. This is a figure that can surge because each person can register upto four people on the CoWIN portal. The numbers show the success of India's campaign.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu received the Covid-19 vaccine at a government hospital in Chennai. After receiving the shot, Naidu tweeted: "I took my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Government Medical College, Chennai today. I will be taking the 2nd dose after 28 days." 


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took his shot at the Army Hospital. "India's resolve for making the country COVID free has been strengthened by this inoculation drive. The Vaccine is completely safe and hassle free," the Defence Minister said.


Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan took his vaccine shot at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute, a private hospital, along with his wife Nutan Goel. Dr Vardhan told the gathered media persons that India has sent vaccines to around 40 countries under its "vaccine maitri" programme. "Another two to three dozen nations will get Indian vaccines," Dr Vardhan said.


Minister of external affairs, S. Jaishankar was inocculated at AIIMS in Delhi. After receiving the shot, the minister said: "I am feeling perfectly fine and confident." AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria was present during Jaishankar's vaccination.


Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Tuesday received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the government-run Gandhi Hospital in his Parliamentary constituency of Secunderabad.


Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also got himself vaccinated. He tweeted: "Happy to share that I took my first dose of #COVID19 vaccine today. Grateful to our scientists, health workers for their race against time to deliver the vaccines to people. Appeal to all eligible people to come forward and get vaccinated for a #CovidFreeOdisha."


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar got his shot at the IGIMS in state capital Patna. He inaugurated Phase-3 of the campaign by getting himself vaccinated against the infection.


Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and his wife Suprava Harichandan got their vaccine at the new government hospital in Gunadala, Vijayawada. They were administered Covaxin, manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.

India had launched the first phase of its globally-watched coronavirus vaccination campaign on January 16, Saturday.

The current campaign, witnessing leading personalities getting themselves innoculated in full public glare and on the social media, constitutes Phase-3. With such strong endorsement from the political spectrum, common people too are turning up in large numbers.

This photograph shows the massive and serious preparations for the campaign across the country. Even in the remote Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, the medical fraternity is preparing itself for the anti-Covid-19 campaign.

A health worker conducts the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine at Khandro Drowa Tsangmo District Hospital in Tawang , Arunachal Pradesh, on Jan 5, 2021. (Photo: IANS)