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PM Modi flaunts symbols from poll-bound states during vaccine jab

Assam, Kerala and Puducherry are going to assembly polls beginning later this month. The schedule of elections to five assemblies including the three was announced by the election commission last week.

March 01, 2021 / 11:58 AM IST
PM Modi getting first does of COVID-19 vaccine on March 1. (Image: Twitter-@narendramodi)

PM Modi getting first does of COVID-19 vaccine on March 1. (Image: Twitter-@narendramodi)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first shot of a made-in-India vaccine against Covid-19 wearing a traditional Assamese scarf and lauded the country's healthcare workers and scientists for their role in the battle against the pandemic.

Sister P Niveda from Puducherry inoculated the prime minister at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences with the first dose of Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, while another nurse Rosamma Ali from Kerala stood behind them in a photograph tweeted by the PM.

Kerala and Puducherry are home to a large number of healthcare workers across India, but the prime minister’s picture with the two nurses is also being seen to have political overtones as both regions are headed for elections.

Elections are also scheduled in Assam, where the traditional scarf is deeply rooted in local tradition. Assembly elections begin later this month.

Niveda, who has been with AIIMS for three years now, said she learnt this morning that the PM was coming for vaccine.

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"I was called in the morning. We found out PM sir is coming today. It was great to meet PM sir," she said.

The other nurse Rosamma said it was a surprise to have PM Modi. "Sir also was very comfortable," she told reporters.

The PM has been sporting the traditional Assamese scarf since early days of the pandemic and has used it as an improvised face mask to create awareness of safety measures needed to combat the virus.

PM Modi’s inoculation kicked off the second phase of India’s vaccination drive, sees as the world’s biggest immunisation programme that began with healthcare and frontline workers on January 16.

Modi also lauded Indian doctors and scientists. “Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he said.

The Centre has said citizens above 60 years of age and those older than 45 with comorbidities will now be able to get COVID-19 vaccine at both government and private hospitals.
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 11 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.
first published: Mar 1, 2021 11:58 am

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