All Indian citizens to get free COVID-19 vaccine?

The announcement comes amid demand by opposition parties that free COVID-19 vaccines should be made available for all citizens of the country and not only for those residing in poll-bound Bihar.

Created On: Oct 26, 2020 13:57 ISTModified On: Oct 26, 2020 13:58 IST
Union Minister Pratap Sarangi

All citizens of the country will get free COVID-19 Vaccine, said Union Minister Pratap Sarangi on October 25, 2020 while addressing a campaign meeting for the November 3 assembly by-poll in Balasore. He added saying that an estimated Rs 500 will be spent on the vaccination of each person.

The announcement comes amid demand by opposition parties that free COVID-19 vaccines should be made available for all citizens of the country and not only for those residing in poll-bound Bihar.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had announced free COVID vaccine for Bihar ahead of the State Legislative Assembly Elections later this week. The announcement had created a controversy, as the opposition parties began alleging that the ruling NDA government was using the COVID pandemic for political reasons.

Key Highlights

•  Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the announcement of the free COVID vaccine for Bihar was in order, as it was an election manifesto announcement.

•  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also announced previously that all people will be provided the vaccines free of cost. PM Modi had said during his televised address to the nation on October 20 that the Indian scientists are in the process of developing several vaccines, which are currently at different stages of clinical trials and the results seem encouraging.

•  Union Minister Pratap Sarangi is the Union Minister of state for animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries and micro, small and medium enterprises. He spoke in reply to a question raised by Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister, R P Swain.

•  Ranendra Pratap Swain in a tweet had questioned Dharmendra Pradhan and Sarangi, the two union ministers from Odisha, regarding their silence on their party's approach to vaccinate the people of Odisha. He had asked that if the ruling party can promise in the election manifesto to vaccinate Bihar for free, then why is it reluctant to promise to vaccinate the people of Odisha for free.

Which states have announced free COVID-19 vaccines for people?

The state/ UT governments of Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry have announced free of cost COVID vaccines for their people. On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded free vaccines for all citizens across the country.

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