Will provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all above 18 yrs in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Dakshin Dinajpur: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said free COVID-19 vaccination will be provided to all above the age of 18 years in the state after May 5.

Addressing a public meeting in Tapan, the Chief Minister said, “The result of the West Bengal assembly polls will come on May 2. We will provide free COVID vaccination to all above the 18 years in Bengal after May 5.”

Banerjee’s remark comes against the backdrop of fresh debate across the country over the pricing of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday fixed the prices of “Covishield” vaccine at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

“Following the Government of India directives, we are announcing the prices of the Covishield vaccine – Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals,” it said.

SII further said the company will serve 50 per cent of the total production to the Government of India’s vaccination program, and the remaining 50 per cent of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals.

Following this, Opposition parties including Congress criticised the Centre’s vaccination policy against COVID-19.

Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government said on Monday and also liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.

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