Over the last two months, more than 1.37 crore Indians have received doses of Covishield or Covaxin. As per Health Ministry data from last Friday, a total of 1,37,56,940 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered. This includes 22,04,083 healthcare workers who have receives both doses.
Now, as India begins the third phase of its vaccination drive from today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the way. Having become eligible for the vaccine today, much like 27 crore other Indians, the PM headed to AIIMS Delhi early in the morning to get inoculated with Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
"Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS," PM Modi tweeted with a picture of himself receiving the jab and urged all eligible Indians to get themselves vaccinated.
"Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!" he wrote.
And while there are always skeptics and critics, netizens have come out in droves to laud the Prime Minister. From Union Ministers and Chief Ministers to representatives of Opposition parties - the support spans party lines. Others such as BJP chief Jagat Prakash Nadda chose to merely retweet Modi's post.
While many are lauding the Prime Minister for waiting his turn until be became truly eligible, others consider this to be a key step forward when it comes to removing vaccine hesitancy. With much having been said about the lack of Phase 3 trial data for Covaxin, Modi's choice of vaccine has also made many cheer.
"Heartening that PMO India took the COVID-19 Covaxin vaccine today. Will go a long way in ensuring that doubts around it and hesitancy to take a shot are removed from the minds of the people. As an important phase of covering more people is launched today, I pray for India to stay safe!" tweeted Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi.
"Bravo Narendrabhai. You took the Swadeshi vaccine," remarked BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.
"PM Shri @narendramodi always leads by example. Getting inoculated after our health workers and frontline warriors and only when his turn came proves why he is the Pradhan Sevak of the country. This will instill confidence in all those who are eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine," tweeted Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
"A leader who shows the way. Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi Ji took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Thank you doctors and scientists who have put India in the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19. Let us make India COVID-19 free!" added fellow Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Many Chief Ministers too remarked on the update, urging the people of their states to come together to defeat COVID-19.
"PM Narendra Modi Ji got the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine this morning. My appeal to all Corona warriors who are yet to get the vaccine and all those eligible for second phase to take the vaccine. Let us make India and Karnataka COVID-19 free," urged CM B. S. Yediyurappa.
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal also remarked upon the Assamese Gamosa that was slung around the PM's neck as he got inoculated. "A wonderful sight of PM Shri Narendra Modi ji once again leading from the front in the crucial global fight against COVID-19. Proud to witness the Assamese Gamosa adorning the PM in this historic moment," he tweeted.