Centre to begin vaccinating people above 18 from May 1. Check which states will provide free vaccination
On May 1, India will begin the next phase of its nationwide vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) where doses will be administered to all those who are above the age of 18. In the ongoing vaccination drive, which began on January 16, all citizens above the age of 45 are being inoculated.
On Day 97, total vaccinations in India crossed 13.5 crore mark on Thursday with 30 lakh vaccine doses administered till 8pm, the Union health ministry said in a statement.
To encourage beneficiaries to take the dose and ensure maximum of them are vaccinated under the upcoming phase from May 1, states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Kerala have announced free of cost vaccination for their above 18 population. Other states such as Goa, Assam and Sikkim have announced free vaccination for beneficiaries between the ages of 18 and 45.
Here is the list of the states which are vaccinating their residents above the age of 18 free of cost.
1. Uttar Pradesh:
The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh announced on Tuesday that free vaccine doses will be provided to all residents above the age of 18. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath. “We have decided to vaccinate all above 18 years free of cost. The state government will take forward the vaccination programme with its own resources,” he said. Uttar Pradesh is the second worst-hit state from the Covid disease pandemic across India with record cases being reported daily.
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel announced on Wednesday that the Congress-led state government will pay for the vaccinations of all beneficiaries above the age of 18 and added all possible steps will be taken to protect the lives of the residents. Baghel had also requested the Centre on Wednesday to provide adequate stock of vaccine doses.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar Kumar said on Wednesday that all residents above the age of 18 will be vaccinated free of cost from May 1. The state government has claimed it has been administering vaccine doses to residents from all categories in government and listed private hospitals in Bihar, according to news agency PTI.
Kerala will also be vaccinating residents above the age of 18 for free, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday and also requested the Centre to provide free vaccine doses to all states as several of them are suffering a financial burden.
5. Madhya Pradesh:
All beneficiaries in Madhya Pradesh above the age of 18 will be vaccinated against the Covid-19 disease for free, the state government said after the decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Wednesday the state government will vaccinate all residents between the ages of 18-45 for free from May 1 and donations received for Covid-19 management from 2020 will be used for this purpose. “Assam will give FREE vaccines to everyone from 18-45 years. GOI is giving free vaccines for 45 +. Funds collected in Assam Arogya Nidhi last year shall be utilized for procurement of vaccines,” Sarma tweeted.
Goa said on Thursday that it will be vaccinating all its residents between the ages of 18-45 for free. “I am pleased to convey Government approval to provide Covid vaccine doses to all populations in the age group 18-45 through the state government free of cost,” state additional secretary (health) Vikas Gaunekar said in a letter adding the state will be purchasing 500,000 Covishield doses initially.
All residents of Sikkim between 18-45 years will be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease for free, chief minister Prem Singh Tamang said on Wednesday adding the state government will bear the expense if the central government does not do so.
(With agency inputs)