Since the announcement by the Centre that all persons above the age of 18 will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine from May 1 onwards, 23 states have announced that they will inoculate their citizens free of cost. Among these 23 states, some will administer coronavirus vaccine for free to only those people in the 18-45 age group; while in other states the vaccine will be free for all. However, the Centre's vaccination drive of free inoculation for those above 45 years of age will continue as intended.
As part of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, 14.19 crore vaccine doses have been administered thus far. Until now, only those above the age of 45, healthcare and frontline workers are eligible for the vaccine but from May 1 onwards all people above the age of 18 will be able to get vaccinated.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh free vaccine will only be available to people in the 18-45 age group.
States have made these announcements at a time when India is reporting an unprecedented number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths each day.
The country reported more than 3.52 lakh COVID-19 cases and 2,812 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to a Union Health Ministry update issued on Monday morning. It is the fifth consecutive day that India has reported over 3 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases and over 2,00 fatalities due to coronavirus.
Here's the list of states providing free COVID-19 vaccine:
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Andhra Pradesh
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Himachal Pradesh
(Edited by Mohammad Haaris Beg)