Mumbai: Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country by COVID announced that it will provide affordable and quality anti-COVID 19 vaccines for free to all citizens. Talking to reporters,NCP leader and state Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said on Sunday that the Maharashtra government will float global tenders to purchase affordable and quality vaccine,
Malik said the Centre had announced to launch a vaccination drive for the citizens above 18 years beginning May 1. He added that fund for vaccination will be taken up using the state's funds as it is clear that the Centre will not provide vaccination for the people below the age of 45 years.
Citing manufacturers of vaccines, the minister said Covishield vaccine will be available to the Centre at Rs 150 per injection, while the rate fixed for state government is Rs 400 per dose and for private hospitals Rs 600 per dose.
The price of Covaxin is fixed at Rs 600 per dose for states and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals, he said.
"The issue was discussed in the last cabinet meeting and it was agreed to provide free vaccination for the people below 45 years. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has agreed for the same," Malik said.
The NCP is a part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Uddhav Thackeray.
Meanwhile, Malik thanked the Union government for increasing the supply of Remdesivir injections to Maharashtra, saying that raising the supply to 40,000 vials per day from 26,000 vials will ease the shortage of the key drug for a few days.
"If the Centre accepts our demand for providing 50,000 vials per day,the Remdesivir shortage would end. CM Uddhav Thackeray is following up on getting the balance 10,000 vials stock," he said.
Till April 19, Maharashtra had inoculated 1,22,83,050 people. 14,09,16,417 vaccine doses have been administered through 20,19,263 sessions, the Centre's provisional report till 7 am today showed.
Apart from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana have promised free vaccines for all adults.