The centre has opened the vaccination drive for everyone above 18 from May 1. The state government has also given free hand to procure vaccines directly from the manufacturers so that the maximum population can be inoculated in a minimum time. And while the vaccination will remain free in government facilities, vaccine manufacturers can provide 50% of their production to the open market after declaring a fair price. However, Uttar Pradesh and Assam have announced that they will provide vaccination free of cost irrespective of whether it’s a private or a government facility.
Uttar Pradesh & Assam Government Makes Vaccine Free In The State
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is under Covid-19 treatment at present, tweeted the decision to make the vaccination free in the state. Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also announced that the state will provide free vaccines to everyone aged above 18 years. Assam has already placed an order of one crore doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
आज मंत्रिपरिषद की बैठक में यह निर्णय लिया गया है कि उत्तर प्रदेश में 18 वर्ष से अधिक आयु के सभी प्रदेशवासियों का कोरोना टीकाकरण @UPGovt द्वारा निःशुल्क कराया जाएगा।
कोरोना हारेगा, भारत जीतेगा…
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) April 20, 2021
Maharashtra To Bid For Spitnik V & Pfizer
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has also decided to import vaccines from other countries as Maharashtra is the worst-hit state right now. The government said that they will not limit their plans to only two vaccines is Covishield and Covaxin. Maharashtra health is planning to bid for Sputnik V, Pfizer and Moderna if they are available.
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.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 20, 2021
The centre provided free vaccines to healthcare workers and frontline workers in the first phase of vaccination. In the second phase, senior citizens and people with co-morbidities above the age of 45 years were made eligible. But as states are accelerating the pace of vaccination to contain the spread of the infection, the Centre’s supply to the states is depleting fast and vaccine. The centre has therefore, given free hand to procure vaccines from the manufacturers.