Dalai Lama was administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday
Dalai Lama was administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday

Tibetian spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who had self-quaratined himself at his home since the outbreak of pandmic took his COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday. The spiritual leader stepped out of his Mcleod Ganj residence after a year to take the jab. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 85, was given the shot at Zonal Hospital, Dharamshala, early in the morning at 7:10 am. He was kept under observation for about half an hour post vaccination.

Known for his eternal values, the spiritual leader turned down offer to get vaccine jab at his home and chose to go the authorised dispensary. Earlier, the district health authorities had planned to vaccinate the Dalai Lama at his home after the Indian government permitted provisions to inoculate the spiritual leader along with his core staff at his residence. "However, His Holiness said he would take the injection at the place where the common people were being inoculated," said Kangra deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar Prajapati.

Dalai Lama appealed the people to take the vaccination. He said, "In order to prevent serious problems, this injection is very helpful and good. Other patients also should also take this injection for greater benefit. I just took it and more people should have the courage to take this injection".

He was by his security and staff to the hospital. His followers lined the streets from McLoedganj to the Zonal Hospital to catch a glimpse of their spiritual leader and seek his blessings.

The Dalai Lama’s last public appearance was in January 2020 when he attended a five-day Buddhist teaching session at Bodhgaya in Bihar.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the Dalai Lama cancelled all public engagements in February 2020 but resumed virtual teachings in May.

Meanwhile, there are currently 589 active COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh, as per the union health ministry. As many as 57,428 recoveries and 997 deaths have been reported in the state so far.

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