Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], March 1 (ANI): Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), the Indian vaccines and bio-therapeutics manufacturer that developed the country's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, on Monday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's gesture of taking the first dose of the vaccine.
Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech said, "We thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine himself and are deeply appreciative of the gesture. This has set a powerful example for all Indians to follow, which will go a long way in reducing vaccine hesitancy and building confidence in immunization against the ongoing pandemic."
"We express our sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister for reposing his trust in the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin. We urge all fellow citizens to not hesitate from taking part in the Covid-19 immunisation program so that the country can bring an end to this public health crisis," he added.
Earlier on Monday, PM Modi took the first dose of Covaxin.
Covaxin, which has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), contains a whole virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which is produced in Vero cells. The vaccine is stable at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels.
Soon after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, the Prime Minister tweeted, "Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS," PM Modi tweeted with his picture of receiving the jab.
"Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19," he added.
The second phase of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country.
PM Modi was among the first ones to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday as vaccination opened for the general population, beginning with people above 60 and those with co-morbidities above 45. (ANI)