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Ajay Maken becomes one of the first party leaders to take COVID-19 jab even as Congress maintains silence over vaccination drive

On Monday, when India started the second phase of coronavirus vaccination, Congress leader and Rahul Gandhi loyalist Mallikarjun Kharge had said he will skip taking the vaccine and let 'younger people' take a jab instead as 'he has only few more years to live'.

A day after India embarked upon the second phase of its ambitious COVID-19 vaccination drive, Congress leader Ajay Maken became one of the first party leaders to get a jab of the indigenously developed vaccine.

After getting vaccinated at Delhi’s Guru Gobind Singh Hospital, Maken took to Twitter to inform that he, along with his wife and their mothers have taken the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. He also urged eligible to register themselves and not be afraid of the vaccination.

Maken’s tweet was quoted by another Congress leader, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who, too, recommended eligible people to heed the message and get registered for the vaccination. Quoting Maken’s tweet, Singhvi said, “Read the message, repeat it.”

Maken is among the first Congress leaders to have taken the shot and to exhort people to shun their fear surrounding the efficacy of the vaccine and register themselves for the vaccination. Last night, Maken informed on Twitter that he had booked a slot for COVID-19 vaccination today morning on the CoWIN platform at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital.

Urging people to get the jab, Maken had then tweeted, “Every eligible Indian should get vaccinated quickly!”

Congress leaders had raised aspersions over the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines

It is pertinent to note that at the start of the first phase of India’s coronavirus vaccination drive on January 16, Congress had raised aspersions on the efficacy of the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccines—Serum Institute’s COVISHIELD and Bharat Biotech developed COVAXIN. Congress MP Manish Tewari had then asked if the vaccines were safe, why not a single government functionary stepped forward to get themselves inoculated.

“If the vaccine is so safe and reliable and efficacy of the vaccine is beyond question then how is it that not a single functionary of the government has stepped forward to get themselves vaccinated as it has happened in other countries around the world?” asked Congress MP Manish Tewari.

Some Congress leaders had even questioned the government for approving the emergency use of the two COVID-19 vaccines. Senior Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh fanned apprehensions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines by asking the government to explain why it was “bypassing mandatory protocols” and “compromising” safety standards.

On Monday, when India started the second phase of coronavirus vaccination, Congress leader and Rahul Gandhi loyalist Mallikarjun Kharge had said he will skip taking the vaccine and let ‘younger people’ take a jab instead as ‘he has only few more years to live’.

He claimed that since he was already 70, he would rather not take the vaccine.

India embarks on the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive

The registration for the next phase of Covid-19 vaccination has started in India on March 1, 2021, at 9 AM. Eligible citizens are required to register on the Co-Win2.0 portal ( to get the timeslot for vaccination at the nearest vaccination centre. Citizens can also register using the Aarogya Setu app. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also got his first dose of vaccination on March 1, morning at AIIMS, Delhi.

Other than government hospitals, the government of India has authorised over 10,000 private hospitals enrolled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, over 600 hospitals under CGHS and other private hospitals enrolled under State Schemes as Covid vaccination centres. While government hospitals will provide vaccination for free, private hospitals can charge up to Rs.250 for the vaccine.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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