A sanitation worker became the first person in India to receive COVID-19 vaccine jab at AIIMS, New Delhi. The worker identified as Manish Kumar received the vaccine in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

"I knew I was a beneficiary, I told my supervisor to make me the first recipient because I wanted to dispel fears around the vaccine. A lot of apprehension is there, but I am fine. I have been working in AIIMS for many years now. There is no reason to be afraid of the vaccine. My family was fearful too, but I told them that I am taking it and I have faith," said Kumar after receiving the jab.

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria also received COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Former AIIMS Director and Vice Chancellor of SOA University, Dr Ashok Mohapatra became the first dose in Odisha to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

Talking to reporters, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, "I am very happy and satisfied today. We have been fighting against COVID-19 in PM's leadership for the last one year. This vaccine will work as a 'sanjeevani' in the fight against COVID-19, which has entered the final stage."

Earlier on Saturday (January 16), PM Modi launched India's coronavirus vaccination drive via video conference. Addressing the nation on this big occasion, the prime minister said, "Everyone was waiting for this day with bated breath. Everyone kept asking when will the vaccine come. It’s here and in a short span of time. In some minutes from now, the world’s biggest vaccination drive is to begin."

Hailing the role of scientists and doctors in developing the coronavirus vaccine, PM Modi said, "All scientists and those in the medicine fraternity deserve congratulations who kept working tirelessly to make the vaccine. They didn’t see day or night, or festivals. Usually, medicines take years, here in a few months, two Made in India vaccines have been made."

The prime minister asserted that it is important to take two doses of coronavirus vaccine to build immunity against the deadly virus. "Don’t make the mistake of taking one dose and then forgetting about dose two. Listen to the experts about the gap to be kept. Two weeks after the second dose, will you build immunity against coronavirus. I appeal to you not to forget coronavirus appropriate behaviour after getting the dose. The patience with which you fought coronavirus, show the same patience during vaccination now," he noted.



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