March 08, 2021

The Dalai Lama, 85, Receives His 1st Shot of COVID-19 Vaccine — See His Message to the Public

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The Dalai Lama, 85, received his 1st shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and shared a public message in a YouTube video. 

The Dalai Lama, 85, received his 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and shared the experience in a YouTube video. He encouraged others to get the vaccine, too. 

The Tibetan spiritual leader received his vaccine in a local hospital in Dharmsala, India. He shared a video that shows himself being vaccinated at the clinic. 

The Dalai Lama received the vaccine and urged others to get it too, 2021, India. | Photo:


Dr. G.D. Gupta of Zonal Hospital revealed that the Dalai Lama was observed for 30 minutes after the injection. He remarked that he had opted to go to the hospital like a "common man."

In the video, the Dalai Lama addresses viewers and encourages others to receive the vaccine. He said that more people should have the courage to receive it:

"I took [the vaccine] so I want to share [that] more people should have courage to take this injection." 


He shared that a trusted friend and doctor had suggested that he get vaccinated to prevent a "serious problem." He said that he wanted to share his vaccination so more people would get it. 

In the video, he addresses the camera in his red and yellow robes before appearing bare-armed to receive the vaccine from one of the clinic's staff members. 

The Dalai Lama has been based in India since 1959, after he had to flee China.


India has the 2nd highest recorded cased of COVID-19, with over 11 million confirmed cases. The country has had 157,000 people die from the virus. 

The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, other high-ranking government officials have publicly shared that they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Modi shared the news on Twitter and wrote:

"Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19."


Both influential figures received the homegrown vaccine called COVAXIN, which the government rolled out in January 2021. It is 81% effective in preventing infection.

The Dalai Lama has been based in India since 1959 after he had to flee China following a failed uprising. China does not recognize the Tibetan government who are in exile. 

Globally, there have been 116 million confirmed cases reported. The USA has about a quarter, and has seen 522,000 people dying from the virus. 

India is expected to produce around 3.6 billion vaccine doses, while the USA has plans to produced 4 billion. So far, India has vaccinated 3.5 million people.