January 16, 2021 2:03:55 pm
As countries around the world launch nationwide immunisation drives against the coronavirus pandemic, several world leaders have stepped forward to receive the Covid-19 vaccine themselves in a bid to allay the fears of their citizens who doubt the safety and efficacy of the jab.
On January 16, India kickstarted the world’s biggest inoculation drive, with three crore frontline workers first in line to get vaccinated. Many opposition leaders and critics have said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have been the first to receive the vaccine to assure people of its reliability. But Modi has categorically said that politicians will not considered in the priority category with frontline workers.
Here is a list of all the world leaders who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 so far:
US President-elect Joe Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine live on television, last month. Since he is 78 years old, Biden is in the high-risk group for the deadly disease. After getting the shot, he praised the country’s medical professionals and called them “heroes”.
My number one priority is getting people vaccinated as quickly as we can to get our country back on track. pic.twitter.com/JLY1DntIlR
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 12, 2021
“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,” he said.
Earlier this week, he received his second dose of the vaccine.
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
A week after Joe Biden was vaccinated against Covid-19, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was injected with her first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in front of the media. “Today I got the Covid-19 vaccine. I am incredibly grateful to our frontline health care workers, scientists, and researchers who made this moment possible,” she tweeted.
On the frontlines of this fight are nurses like Patricia who administered my vaccine yesterday. As the daughter of immigrants from Guyana, Patricia has been working tirelessly to protect and save lives.
To Patricia and all the nurses battling this pandemic—thank you. pic.twitter.com/xFmCWI3jRs
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 30, 2020
US Vice President Mike Pence
On December 19, US Vice President Mike Pence received the first of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a televised White House event. His wife Karen and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also received the vaccine soon after.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Pence said when he received the jab.
The biggest vaccination drive in American history was launched on December 14, with a critical care nurse named Sandra Lindsay becoming the first person in the US to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Last week, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, 94, and her husband Prince Philip, 99, were vaccinated against Covid-19 by a royal household doctor at Windsor Castle, AFP reported.
On December 12, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. The country is in the midst of a nationwide vaccination drive and plans to vaccinate the elderly, the vulnerable and frontline workers — around 15 million people — by mid-February, Reuters reported. 91-year-old Margaret Keenan was the first in the country to receive the jab.
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu
מקבל את הזריקה השנייה במבצע ״חוזרים לחיים״ – כל אזרחי ישראל יחוסנו תוך 2-3 חודשים ונוכל לפתוח את הכלכלה שלנו!
(צילום: עמוס בן גרשום, לע״מ) pic.twitter.com/I5ni9yidCx
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 9, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was vaccinated against Covid-19 on December 20, kicking off the country’s nationwide inoculation exercise.
Netanyahu and the country’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein were injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine live on television.
“I asked to be vaccinated first, together with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, to serve as personal examples and encourage you to be vaccinated,” Netanyahu said.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received his first of two Covid-19 vaccine jab earlier this month, over three weeks after the middle eastern kingdom launched a three-phase inoculation programme, AFP reported.
Last month, soon after Saudi Arabia approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the jab, state media reported.
Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict
Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict were the latest addition to the list of world leaders who received the coronavirus vaccine. The Pope has been urging people to get the vaccine, stating that it was their “ethical duty” to protect not only themselves but also those around them.
In a statement, Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said that he was able “to confirm that within the vaccine program of the Vatican City State, to this date the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo
Saya ditanya: pernah terkonfirmasi positif Covid-19, pernah batuk atau pilek, mengidap penyakit jantung, atau penyakit lain seperti ginjal? Dll. Semua saya jawab tidak.
Pukul 9.42 wib ini, saya memulai ikhtiar besar untuk terbebas dari pandemi dengan menerima vaksin Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/KiJuj7VsFJ
— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) January 13, 2021
Indonesian President Joko Widodo received his first shot of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac on Wednesday. The country’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency Chief Penny Lukito earlier announced that the vaccine was 65.3 per cent effective during late phase clinical trials, Sputnik reported.
Haryana Minister Anil Vij
Barely two weeks after being administered a trial vaccine shot of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij Saturday tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to me are advised to get themselves tested for corona,” he tweeted. On November 20, Vij was the first in Haryana to participate in Covaxin’s trials.
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