Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers above the age of 50 will get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the next phase of the nationwide inoculation drive, CNN News18 reported citing sources.
This comes at a time when the nationwide vaccination drive is facing challenges due to hesitation among beneficiaries. Some individuals and experts – including healthcare and frontline workers – who are eligible to get vaccinated in the first phase, have expressed apprehension about the vaccines’ efficacy.
India had started the COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 after earlier in the month granting emergency use approval to two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin. In the first phase, healthcare workers like doctors and nurses and frontline workers like armed forces, police and sanitation staff are being administered the jabs on the government’s cost.
Phase two will include people above the age of 50 and those below the age of 50 with serious health complications, who are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease on priority.
It may also be noted here that the PM taking the vaccine at the start of the second phase has nothing to do with the government’s efforts to end this hesitancy as politicians were scheduled, as per the government’s plan, to take the vaccine in this phase.
Government sources have clarified that the PM will be among the first persons to take part in the second phase of coronavirus vaccination as per the plan and not because there has been criticism of the vaccination drive amid the hesitancy being witnessed.
It may be noted that several opposition politicians have demanded that the PM should take the jab to end the hesitancy in the country.