Several Indian states have announced that they will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all from May 1, 2021. The announcement follows centre’s decision to vaccinate all above 18 years of age from May 1st.
The centre had also announced on April 19, 2021 that the states and private hospitals will now be able to buy vaccines straight from private manufacturers.
The move will enable the states to majorly ramp up their vaccination drive and it will reduce their dependency on the centre to provide them with vaccine doses.
Following is the List of States that have offered free COVID-19 vaccination:
1. Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on April 20, 2021 that the state has decided to vaccinate all eligible beneficiaries free of cost from May 1st. The statement came after a meeting of the council of ministers of the state chaired by the CM. The state government plans to take forward the vaccination programme using its own sources.
The Assam government has decided to give free vaccines to everyone aged between 18 to 45 years. The State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Centre is giving free vaccines to people aged above 45 years.
The Minister further stated that the funds collected under Assam Arogya Nidhi would be used to procure vaccines. He also informed that the Health department has placed an order to buy 1 crore vaccine doses.
3. Madhya Pradesh
The Madhya Pradesh government announced on April 21, 2021 that all adults aged above 18 years will be provided free COVID-19 vaccination in the state from May 1st. The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has also announced free CoVID-19 vaccination for all above 18 years of age. He tweeted saying that the state will bear the cost of vaccines to be administered and further, urged the centre to make sufficient quantities of the vaccine available to the state.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also announced on April 21, 2021 that the state will vaccinate all eligible beneficiaries free of cost from 1 May. The CM also demanded the Centre to bear the cost of vaccinations. He emphasised that the state governments are already going through a financial burden due to COVID-19 and so instead of asking states to buy the vaccines, the centre should give vaccines to the states for free.
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang announced on April 21, 2021 that the state will provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens between 18 to 45 years. He said that the state will bear the cost of the vaccines if the centre does not.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that the state government will bear the cost of vaccinating all its citiznes above the age of 18 years from May 1st.