COVID-19: DK Shivakumar demands free vaccination for all citizens
With the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive scheduled to begin from May 1, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Sunday slammed the state government for not announcing free vaccination to citizens and demanded free vaccines for all.
With the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive scheduled to begin from May 1, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Sunday slammed the state government for not announcing free vaccination to citizens and demanded free vaccines for all. Taking to Twitter Shivakumar said, "India is probably the only country which is discussing vaccine prices, when it's being given for free across the world. Why has the Karnataka government still not announced FREE VACCINATION for all? I demand that free vaccines be given to all citizens and a roll-out plan be shared asap."
Shivakumar had put forward his demand earlier as well on April 21 and said:"Differential pricing to states and private hospitals for procurement of vaccine is discriminatory and will affect vaccination coverage. In a National Health Emergency, profiteering must not be allowed. Centre and State government must make Vaccination FREE for 18+ yrs as a welfare measure." The Centre on April 19 had announced a ''liberalised'' policy, making all above 18 years of age eligible to get vaccinated from May 1. It has also allowed state governments and private hospitals to purchase vaccines from manufacturers.
As per the central government, manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines will be free to supply 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market, for which they will have to make an advance declaration of the price before May 1. India had started the COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 with two vaccines -- Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited).
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. The third phase began on April 1 for all above 45 years of age. In the next phase beginning May 1, all above the age of 18 would be eligible to receive the shot. (ANI)
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