Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday.
The Dalai Lama, 85, encouraged others to get the shot to avoid "serious problems."
Ten other people who live in the Dalai Lama's residence were also vaccinated, AP reported.
The Dalai Lama, the 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, received on Saturday the first of the two-shot COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged others to get the life-saving shot.
The Dalai Lama and 10 other people who live at his residence received the first of the two-shot Covishield vaccine, developed by the UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University, said Dr. G.D. Gupta of Zonal Hospital in Dharamshala, India, where he received the shot, according to a report from the Associated Press.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 11 million people in India have been diagnosed with COVID-19, marking it the country with the second-highest number of reported infections behind the United States. More than 157,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in India, according to the data.
"In order to prevent some serious problems, this injection is very, very helpful," the Dalai Lama said in a video of his vaccination posted on YouTube.
"I want to share so more people should have the courage to take this injection," he said.
Gupta said that the Dalai Lama had offered to come to the hospital to get vaccinated "like a common man," according to the report.
According to the AP, India began its vaccination rollout in January, offering the shot first to healthcare personnel and other essential workers. Recently, the country began offering the vaccine to older people and people with pre-existing conditions, according to the report.
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