New Delhi, January 10— Several states have announced that they would make Covid-19 vaccines available to their citizens free of cost. They include Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. The West Bengal government also made the same announcement on Sunday.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government is making arrangements to make Covid-19 vaccines available to all people in the state free of cost. “I am happy to announce that our government is making arrangements to facilitate the administration of covid-19 vaccine to all the people of the state without any cost,” ANI news agency quoted her as saying.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also said that Covid-19 vaccine must be free for all.
“Corona is the biggest pandemic of the century. It is important to protect our people from it. I appeal to the Centre to vaccinate every citizen for free. The expenditure towards carrying this out will save a lot of lives,” he tweeted on Saturday.
The central government on Saturday announced that the Covid-19 vaccination drive would commence on January 16. In the first phase, priority will be given to around three crore frontline workers, including health workers followed by around 27 crore people above the age of 50 and others with co-morbidities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the country is ready to “save humanity” with two Made-In-India vaccines to fight coronavirus.
“India used to import PPE kits, masks, ventilators, and testing kits from outside but today our nation is self-reliant. Today India is ready to save humanity with two ‘Made in India’ COVID-19 vaccines,” said PM Modi while virtually inaugurating the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention.
Earlier this week, two vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were approved for ‘restricted emergency use.’
Meanwhile, by 8 am on Sunday, the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country rose to over 1 crore and 4.5 lakh. Of them, 1,00,75,950 have recovered and active cases dropped to 2.33 lakh. The nationwide toll currently stands at over 1.51 lakh.