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Free vaccine to all above 18: Kejriwal

Free vaccine to all above 18: Kejriwal
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Free vaccine to all above 18: Kejriwal

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New Delhi: Free Covid-19 vaccine will be provided to all above 18 years of age in the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Mon...

New Delhi: Free Covid-19 vaccine will be provided to all above 18 years of age in the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday, saying his government has already approved the purchase of 1.34 crore doses.

He said the Delhi government will make efforts to speed-up the purchases further and administer jabs to people as soon as possible after the inoculation drive opens up on Saturday for everybody above 18. Covid-19 has begun to affect in a big way those below 18 years of age too, he said, adding if the available vaccines are effective for this age group as well, or if any special vaccines can be manufactured for children, the Centre should allow inoculating this population also.

Delhi has been witnessing surging Covid-19 cases and deaths, as well as an acute oxygen crises as several hospitals have been sending SOS messages every day due to shortage of life-saving gas.

"The Delhi government has decided to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to all those above 18 years of age. We are working on a plan to start large-scale vaccination as soon as possible," Kejriwal told an online briefing.

Even as officials later said free vaccine may be made available through Delhi government-run centres, they added that exact modalities are being worked out. Kerjiwal also appealed to vaccine manufacturers to bring down the price to Rs 150 a dose, saying that they have an entire lifetime to earn profits but this is a time to show humanity.

He said the Central government should cap the price of vaccines, if needed. Last week, the Serum Institute of India (SII) had announced that it would price its Covishield vaccine at Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals and Rs 400 per dose for state governments.

Another vaccine manufacturer, Bharat Biotech, had also announced that its Covaxin would be available to state governments at Rs 600 a dose and private hospitals at Rs 1,200 a dose.

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