- Vaccine Free For All in UP Above 18
- Uttar Pradesh will offer the Covid vaccine free of cost from May 1 says CM Yogi Adityanath
- Earlier Assam issued a similar order to offer the free vaccine from 18-45 years
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh will offer the Covid vaccine free of cost from May 1, when India’s vaccine net will widen to include all people over the age of 18. The decision was taken late Tuesday at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
UP has also ordered a weekend lockdown, from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am – and a night curfew barring movement of all but essential service providers.
“… in the meeting of the Council of Ministers today it has been decided that coronavirus vaccination of all the people above 18 years of age in Uttar Pradesh will be made free… Coronavirus will lose, India will win,” Adityanath tweeted.
The Health Department has been tasked with working out the logistics of this exercise; UP, India’s most populous state, is home to around 20 crore people.
“We have to increase vaccination centres and create a database of the target age-group,” the Chief Minister was quoted by news agency PTI.
Hours earlier Assam issued a similar order, with Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeting: “Assam will give FREE vaccines to everyone from 18-45 years…”
On Monday the centre, criticised for delaying younger people access to the vaccine, said all those over the age of 18 can get the shot from May 1.
Currently only people over 45 are eligible.
Also, the centre said states could now buy doses directly from manufacturers – up to 50 per cent of their supply – at a “pre-agreed price”.
The state refused an Allahabad High Court directive about imposing week-long restrictions in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur, and Gorakhpur but imposed the weekend lockdown order a day after.
The state argued that locking down the cities by judicial order “may not be the right approach”.
The Supreme Court pressed pause on that order, but also directed the state to file, within a week, a report on steps taken and planned to contain the COVID-19 virus.
(With Input from PTI)
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