Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 3 (ANI): The Central Tibetan Administration's (CTA) request for COVID-19 vaccination of the Dalai Lama is currently under consideration of the state government, said Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, Chief Medical Officer of Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district, two months after the CTA claimed the request was sent.
According to Palden, the Health Secretary of the CTA, requests have been made to both the central and Himachal Pradesh government to get the 85-year-old spiritual leader and the staff around him vaccinated.
"We had written to the Government of India and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Kangra district about two months back but have not received any response. Our request was for His Holiness (HH) the Dalai Lama, the people living around him, and the Tibetan community in India to be vaccinated," Palden told ANI.
Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, CMO of the district, meanwhile said the request had been received and was under the consideration of the government.
"COVID-19 vaccination has been going on since January 16 and the first priority group, as per the Government of India's guidelines, was healthcare and frontline workers... The request was received from the central Tibetan government regarding vaccinating HH the Dalai Lama and the people living around him. It has been sent to the government, modalities are being worked out to vaccinate them," Dr Gupta said.
He further said a specific request had been made for the Dalai Lama to be vaccinated on his own premises.
"HH has been in self-quarantine for quite some time so a request has been received to vaccinate him in his own premises. It is under the consideration of the government and the final decision will be taken when it is received from the government. It will be done as per protocol," the CMO added.
The first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive against the coronavirus had begun on January 16 with frontline and healthcare workers. The second phase began on February 13. In this phase, people above 60 and those with comorbidities above 45 will be vaccinated.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India's homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research at AIIMS, Delhi. (ANI)