Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (1 March) was inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine as the second phase of vaccination drive began.
Prime Minister Modi chose to wait in queue for his turn by opting not to inoculate himself in the first phase which was reserved for health and frontline workers.
It has now been reported that Prime Minister chose to administer himself with Bharat Biotech's Covaxin instead of Serum Institute of India's Covishield.
"Sir (PM Modi) has been administered first dose of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, second dose will be given in 28 days. He asked us where do we belong to & after vaccination he said, "Laga bhi di, pata hi nahi chala (I did not even feel the needle)", Sister P Niveda who inoculated PM Modi was quoted as saying.
Prime Minister Modi's vaccine choice assumes high-significance considering the India developed Covaxin, was vilified by a section of journalists and the medical community after it received restricted emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
Many sceptics had cast aspersions on the vaccine's efficacy and safety while also terming it as a "backup" for the Oxford University and AstraZeneca developed Covishield.
It was reported that Dr Krishna Ella the chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech had asserted that the vaccine is 200 per cent safe and does not require paracetamols to suppress adverse reactions.
In response to the scepticism, Dr Ella claimed that adverse reactions recorded due to Covaxin are less than 10 per cent as compared to alleged 60-70 per cent in other vaccines.
Dr Ella said that besides India, clinical trials have taken place in over 12 countries including the UK. He added that no placebo has been involved during the trials and every subject has been monitored for the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
Nations like Brazil have also expressed confidence in Covaxin by deciding to procure 20 million doses.
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