Bengal's Hakim becomes 2nd minister to take 'Covaxin' trial shot

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Kolkata, Dec 2 (PTI) West Bengal's Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim became the second minister of a state government in the country to be administered a shot of Covaxin, India's first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate whose Phase III trial began here on Wednesday.

The trial, which started at the city's ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), was inaugurated by state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

'I feel I am quite lucky to be part of the trial. I am absolutely okay after taking the shot. I do not care even if I die while undertaking this trial,' the 62-year-old minister told reporters.

Hakim said that he will be very happy if his contribution helps in the quest for the vaccine against the coronavirus disease.

Hakim underwent necessary check-ups to ascertain whether he was fit for the shot.

At least 1,000 volunteers will be administered the vaccine during the Phase III trial here.

Before him, Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij was administered a dose of Covaxin last month as part of the Phase III clinical trial . PTI SCH NN SK SK