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Tibet's spiritual leader Dalai Lama gets vaccinated

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
Tibet's spiritual leader Dalai Lama gets vaccinated
Copyright  AP/AP

The Dalai Lama was vaccinated at a hospital in his hometown of Dharamsala on Saturday.

After receiving the jab, Tibet's 85-year-old spiritual leader urged others to be brave and get one too.

"In order to prevent some serious problems, this injection is very, very helpful,'' he said.

Dr G.D. Gupta of Zonal Hospital, where the shot was administered, told reporters that the Dalai Lama was observed for 30 minutes afterwards. "He offered to come to the hospital like a common man to get himself vaccinated,'' he said.

Ten other people who live in the Dalai Lama's residence were also vaccinated, the hospital said.

India has confirmed more than 11 million cases of the coronavirus and over 157,000 deaths.

It now has the second-highest caseload in the world behind the US.

Vaccinations began in India in January, starting with health care and front-line workers.

Earlier this month, older people and those with medical conditions also started getting the jab.

The Dalai Lama made Dharmsala his headquarters in 1959 after he fled Tibet where an uprising against China had failed.

China doesn't recognize the Tibetan government-in-exile and accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama denies being a separatist and says he merely advocates for substantial autonomy and protection of the region's native Buddhist culture.