Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first shot of coronavirus vaccine — Covaxin developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech — at AIIMS hospital in Delhi. He was the first beneficiary of the second phase of nationwide vaccination drive.

People above the age of 60 and 45 with other illnesses are eligible to take vaccine in the second phase of vaccination.

“Took my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS. 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!” PM Modi tweeted along with a picture of him taking the jab.

While PM Modi wore a gamocha as a symbol of Assam, which will go to elections in March-April, nurses from Kerala and Puducherry, both of which are poll bound, injected him the dose. The Hindustan Times quoted an official saying that the scarf “is symbolic of blessings of women from Assam”.

According to a statement released by the PMO, Modi wanted to take the shot early in the morning to avoid any special route restrictions on his way to AIIMS.

The vaccination drive was started in India on January 16. Pune-based Serum Institute’s Covishield, which is developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca, is another vaccine available besides Covaxin.

In the coming months, India may use Russia’s Sputnik-V and Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCov-D for the vaccination.

One can register to get vaccinated using the official website — www.cowin.gov.in — from 9 am onwards on Monday. The Aarogya Setu app can also be used for registration, while those with no internet connectivity can walk-in for vaccination.