Washington/New Delhi, Mar 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday joined a growing list of the world leaders who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to instill confidence among the public about the efficacy of the jab.
Prime Minister Modi took his first dose of the indigenously developed Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN at New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday morning.
"I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!" Modi said as he hailed the Indian doctors and scientists who have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19.
The 70-year-old leader was vaccinated on the first day of India's inoculation drive for senior citizens and those aged 45 and above with comorbidities.
Prime Minister Modi's move to take the jab would instill confidence among the public and remove any hesitancy and doubts that they might have about the vaccine, said AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria.
Modi joined the growing list of world leaders who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
UN Secretary-General Ant nio Guterres received the COVID-19 vaccine in January. Britain's Queen Elizabeth, 94, and her husband Prince Philip, 99, were vaccinated against COVID -19 by a royal household doctor at Windsor Castle in the same month.
Both US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris received the COVID-19 vaccine in December before assuming the office.
"I'm doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it's available, to take the vaccine. There's nothing to worry about," Biden had said after receiving the first dose of the vaccine.
As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries have faced the challenge of an overabundance of false information related to the vaccine.
Then US Vice President Mike Pence also received the COVID vaccine at a televised White House event in December.
Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict have also received the coronavirus vaccine.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman received the COVID-19 vaccine in January. His son and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took the vaccine in December.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the COVID-19 vaccine in December.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum received an experimental coronavirus vaccine in November.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan have also received coronavirus vaccine in January.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has crossed 114 million mark. It said over 2.53 million people have died due to the virus globally.